Even with the pandemic, the beer industry has never been in a better place. At the end of 2021, there were a record 9,000 breweries in the U.S. By now, it’s clear that the road to brewing success isn’t that unpaved. Anyone can start a brewery, from financial advisors to brewers taking the next step. The only question is: how do you get the business off on the right foot? Well, that’s what we’re here to talk about today! Here are the main things you need to know about starting a brewery.
Create a Business Plan:
The first thing to do is decide on your brewery format. Other than a craft brewery, you have a microbrewery, which operates with a smaller volume. You can also opt for a brewpub, which sells over 25% of its beer on-site.
Once you have a concept, create a business plan around it. Here’s where you need to explain how you’ll finance and operate your brewery. The more details you provide, the easier it will be to get things going.
Decide on a Location:
Ideally, you’d start a company by taking over an old brewery. If you’re starting from scratch, the main thing you’ll need is a big space.
You’ll need it for a brewhouse, with its massive tanks and other brewery equipment.
You should also consider your target audience. For example, opening a brewery near a college makes sense if you want to attract students. If you’re appealing to tourists, expect parking to be less of an issue.
Look Into Licencing:
Any restaurant serving alcohol will need specific licenses. These include the federal brewing permit, state liquor license, and health/food service license. Missing any of these licenses can lead to your brewery closing down.
Other than licensing, you’ll need the tax paperwork for your business. If applicable, file for your unique trade name, or DBA. If you plan on hiring employees, you’ll need to apply for an EIN as well.
Figure Out the Finances:
There’s no set amount to open a brewery, but expect you’ll need at least $500,000 to get started. Most of that will go on brewing equipment, which is quite expensive. You’ll also need to pay for licenses, labor, and so on.
Don’t have $500,000 in the bank? Good news: there’s plenty of restaurant financing available! The possible means of funding your brewery include SBA microloans, startup business grants, a business line of credit, and more.
Design Your Branding:
To prepare for your grand opening, you’ll need to get customers in the door. Start by creating a marketing plan to set your goals, budget, and practices. Then, figure out the unique appeal of your brewery and work from there.
When you launch your brewery, take it to social media to market it. Focus on showcasing your beer in a shareable visual format. This is the best way to attract new customers and put your brewery on the map.
Starting a Brewery Is Worth It:
Starting a brewery isn’t easy, but it’s also a dream come true for any beer-loving entrepreneur. To that end, this guide is a solid starting point. Of course, being a brewery owner involves doing your research as well.
Want to know more about how to start a business? Read more of our business-related content!