How to Start a Microbrewery Business

A micro-brewery is a small independently owned business that brews and sells crafted beer to taverns, distributors, or other businesses. It is typically not an establishment that serves the beer. A micro-brewery usually sells about 10,000 barrels per year.

If you’re a beer lover who has perfected your own brew, then you may want to think about turning your hobby into a lucrative business. According to one report, the number of independent brewers has grown to a surprising 1,500 with more interest springing up every day. By learning how to start a microbrewery, you may be among the growing rank of entrepreneurs who are finding that microbrewing is a profitable home business.

Pros of Microbrewery

  • Turning a hobby into a profitable business can be personally rewarding
  • The popularity of crafted beers is growing

Cons of Microbrewery

  • Starting a microbrewery requires specialized skills and equipment
  • State regulations may dictate distribution strategy

Customers

It appears that beer drinking, especially good beer, is recession-proof and many people like the idea of supporting their local microbrewers. Especially when the brew is exceptionally tasty.  If you start a microbrewery with a niche market in mind, such as organic beer or gluten-free beer, you may find an even more loyal following.

According to a recent report, local microbreweries produce fewer than 15,000 barrels of brew a year. While some of these crafted beers are exported out of the area, most stay close to home.

State regulations vary. Some states will allow a microbrewery to sell beer directly to retailers, while others require you to go through a beer distributor.

Getting Started

Trying to start a microbrewery without a well thought out business plan is a mistake, as the process can be more complicated than you may realize. If you want to start a microbrewery, it is important that you learn all you can about the industry.  You must check with the health department about any permits, and know your state’s liquor laws.

Many reputable microbrewers, while unwilling to share recipes, are willing to share their formula for success with people who are interested in starting their own business. You may even want to consider working with a brewer in order to gain some insight and experience into this growing industry before you start a microbrewery of your own.

Not only will you need capital for equipment, such as brewing systems, kettles, fermenters, and hot and cold storage tanks, but you’ll need to consider the cost of office space, storage rental, and marketing.C

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