How to Start Your Own Brewery: 9 Key Steps to Take

Start Your Own Brewery

Local and small breweries have been growing in popularity in many countries in the world. This is fueled by the fact that consumers are getting tired of watery and bland beers, something that is pushing them towards local and small breweries.

Statistics indicate that beer consumption in the United States, for instance, has decreased. However, the sale of craft beers has increased by about six percent. This has made craft beer take about a quarter of all beer sales in the American market.

But how can you start your own brewery to tap into this growing market? Well, for some people, starting a brewery begins as a hobby. For others, it is a business right from the word go. Here are a few things you need to do to start your own brewery;

Choose the Format of Your Brewery

The first step is choosing the format of your brewery. A brewery can be defined as a business that makes and sells beers. You can choose one of three formats – brewpub, microbrewery, or craft brewery.

A brewpub can be defined as a brewery that sells at least 25% of its beers to customers on-site. These breweries can add a restaurant to their operations, helping them provide a better customer experience.

A microbrewery is a brewery that is supposed to produce less than 460,000 gallons or 15,000 barrels every year. A craft brewery, on the other hand, is an independent and small brewery that observes local traditions when brewing beers.

Create a Business Plan

Now that you know the format that you want for your brewery, you need to prepare a business plan for the brewery. The business plan should contain details on the running, staff, marketing, operations, and financing of your brewery.

You should also talk about the overview of your brewery and its operations. For instance, talk about all the suppliers that you will work with, the model you will follow when it comes to your services and how you will staff the brewery. 

Ensure that the business plan is detailed enough to help you get started without any problems. You can get business plan templates online to ensure that you do not start from scratch and to give you insights on how to create an effective business plan.

Design Your Brewery Logo and Advertising, Marketing, and Branding Strategies

This is one of the most important steps you need to take to grow your brewery brand and create awareness around it. When designing a brewery logo, you need to ensure that the logo meets your brand requirements and shows exactly what you do.

In addition, the right marketing strategies will help you get customers immediately after you launch your business. In addition to the logo, create a marketing plan with your marketing calendar, tips, best practices, and the goals you need to achieve.

To ensure that your advertising, marketing, and branding strategies do not fail, start by defining the exact thing(s) that you want to market. What makes your brewery stand out from others? What is it that you are offering your customers that they cannot get from other breweries? This is important in driving your marketing strategies.

Starting any business in most parts of the world requires certain permits, licenses, and other legal requirements. This varies from one region to another. You, therefore, need to look at the requirements depending on your area of operation.

Some of the licenses you might need to start your own brewery in the United States include Food/Health Service License, State Liquor License, and a Federal Brewing Permit, among others. You might also need a retail license if you sell merchandise.

These requirements vary depending on your operations and where you are located. If, for instance, you involve local bands in entertaining your guests, you might be required to obtain a music or entertainment license. The most important thing is understanding all requirements and making sure that you get the right licenses.

Get the Best Location for Your Brewery

The location of your business is going to play a very important role when it comes to how successful the business is going to be. This is something you need to do a lot of research on and ensure that you have chosen the best possible location for your business.

If you can find an old or abandoned brewery, then this can be the best option for you. However, make sure that you understand why the brewery was abandoned. The other option is starting your brewery from scratch.

If this is the option you choose, then make sure that you get enough space where you can store all the brewery equipment such as the brewing tanks and taprooms, among others. You should also look at your target market, rent, accessibility, zoning restrictions, and your brewery style when choosing your brewery location.

Other Key Steps

After the steps discussed above, you also need to look into the following;

  • Collecting the EIN, DBA, and tax information needed for the business.
  • Figuring out all the operating expenses and needed financing for the success of the business.
  • Securing any needed funding. You should not expect the business to make profits within the first few months of operation.
  • Developing your menu and finally launching the business.

Brewery businesses are among the most profitable businesses you can start today. However, you need to ensure that you have followed the right steps for your business to be successful.