Starting a brewery is the idea of a lifetime. Turning your passion into your career and lifestyle is a dream shared by many. It seems very possible just off the cuff, because it seems that good beer gets attention, and we are in a time where craft breweries are making more and more prominence while macro-breweries are consolidating for synergies. It is definitely a dream that is possible by one that has the time, commitment, and financial backing to make it happen.
Starting a microbrewery is serious stuff. Its a natural forethought for the homebrewer who has gotten serious about their hobby. Its a path that requires lots of planning. There are so many considerations to make on financing, forming a business plan, and aligning the stars to make it all work. The execution of the plan requires the right timing, and the right exposure. Marketing and distribution is key for the microbrewery, where a solid restaurant and location are key to the brewpub. Lastly there is a lot of risk in opening a brewery as the failure rate is nearly 1 in 4.
This section is intended to be a comprehensive guide to starting a brewery. It pulls from the experience of others, includes speculation of business outcomes, and also provides a detail for costs and a time line.
Training for Commercial Brewing
The first step to consider is training and education. There are many similarities in brewing on a large scale as home brewing, however there are many concepts that are not even considered as a home brewer. The channels for ingredients, equipment variations and costs, water treatment and sewage restrictions, and the licenses and taxes that come with a brewery are some of the areas that need consideration. There are several brewing schools and courses that are available, and the Brewing School section details this information.