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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: MDixon on March 10, 2014, 05:49:52 PM

Title: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: MDixon on March 10, 2014, 05:49:52 PM
Seems like the right place to post this
http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2014/03/challenges-of-opening-a-brewery-job-advice-beer-industry-collin-mcdonnell-henhouse.html?ref=title

If not, mods please move
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: Slowbrew on March 10, 2014, 06:23:19 PM
Good article! 

I have never worked in or started a brewery but I have worked through the births of 3 computer companies and nothing in this article was too surprising.  Starting businesses is hard work and you need to really love what you are doing to make it through the first 2 or 3 years.

The first year your excitement and all the "new" will keep you going.  Years 2 and 3 will often wear on you as you really learn that sales are the key and you likely don't have enough of them yet.  If you make it past 3 years and are making money you will have joined an elite club and should be very proud.

Like the author said, this isn't meant to discourage anyone, but may help folks go in with their eyes open.  I had a blast setting up and running those companies but I left them because they didn't belong to me and the owners lost their passion so the businesses were destines to fail (when the work of 5 people is having to done by 3 the days get very long).  My best advice is follow your dream but be prepared to be tired.

Paul
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: morticaixavier on March 10, 2014, 06:27:05 PM
What does it say that I was not discouraged in the least?

Great article. Thanks for posting
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 10, 2014, 06:42:32 PM
Good article,but it appeared some where else on the net before. I said, read this, then I saw the pictures and recognized those.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: boulderbrewer on March 10, 2014, 07:33:26 PM
Shoot! Now I know and it is too late now. ;) 2 months for that beer in the picture is a bit long for a production brewery, my opinion.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: denny on March 10, 2014, 08:09:57 PM
What does it say that I was not discouraged in the least?

Great article. Thanks for posting

That you have low reading comprehension?  That you can't face reality?  ;)
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: morticaixavier on March 10, 2014, 08:10:34 PM
What does it say that I was not discouraged in the least?

Great article. Thanks for posting

That you have low reading comprehension?  That you can't face reality?  ;)

well sure, but what else?  :D
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: a10t2 on March 10, 2014, 08:44:27 PM
I wonder if we'll start seeing fewer of these blog posts as we reach a point where everyone getting into brewing has read one of these blog posts...
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: denny on March 10, 2014, 08:56:15 PM
I wonder if we'll start seeing fewer of these blog posts as we reach a point where everyone getting into brewing has read one of these blog posts...

I think we'll start seeing more of them as some of the plethora of new breweries start to close.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: Slowbrew on March 10, 2014, 09:03:43 PM
I wonder if we'll start seeing fewer of these blog posts as we reach a point where everyone getting into brewing has read one of these blog posts...

I think we'll start seeing more of them as some of the plethora of new breweries start to close.

Don't forget the inevitable craigsList add:  For the serious homebrewer.  For Sale - One (1) 15 barrel brewing sculpture.  Ten (10) 30 Barrel Fermenters. Several Bright/Serving tanks available. Lots of misc.  Hurry!!! These will go fast!

 ::)

Paul
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: Jimmy K on March 11, 2014, 12:31:30 AM
I wonder if we'll start seeing fewer of these blog posts as we reach a point where everyone getting into brewing has read one of these blog posts...
Right after they stop posting pictures of kittens.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: rjberry on March 11, 2014, 03:32:46 AM
There are days that I'm too busy and have to push back homebrewing!  As cool as the idea has always seemed whilst drinking a homebrew you have to be all in and that takes a different kind of person.  Plus with all of the new breweries opening lately its just that much harder to make something distinctive.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: euge on March 11, 2014, 03:57:07 AM
Man that is exactly why I don't want to open a brewery. I love brewing and talking about it and sharing the nectar but absolutely hate all that other crap.

I'm looking to work less not become a slave to a 24/7/365 business.

Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: majorvices on March 11, 2014, 11:56:08 AM
I didn't bother reading the article - I lived it. ;) Going on 4 years this summer and I absolutely love owning a brewery and I love going in and brewing every day. If the brewery failed tomorrow I'd be planning a new one the following day. I really can't think of anything else I'd rather do. This is it. But, as with any business, be prepared to deal with the sacrifices you are going to make to insure the business survives. My hardest sacrifice has been my family. There are times when you will have to put the business first. It's been challenging on my marriage, too. It's a huge financial challenge - there are lots of times when I don't get paid so that my employees do. It's not just breweries - every business owner I have talked to say the same things.  Long hours, hard work, family sacrifice.

Proud to say it's getting a lot better. I have some great employees, I have (most) of my weekends back, and we are looking at major grown the next two years. We opened a tasting room last summer and it is really taking off (and it's a ton of fun!) We also just sold 20% of the company to a fifth partner for a lot more money than we invested initially. And this guy is a founder and CEO of a Fortune 500 company and has already started making a big difference in the management of the company.

So, it can be done (though, not saying it should. There's enough damn breweries out there already thank you very much. ;) ) Just be sure you walk in with eyes open, know what you are getting into. Be prepared to buckle down and make it work. And make sure you have a wife or husband who is willing to help keep the family going and bring in the money you will need to live.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: klickitat jim on March 11, 2014, 12:19:50 PM
I plan to brew full time once I retire. I don't mind cleaning, but I'm not going to bother with regulatory, licensing, payroll, financial, contracts, distribution,  or customers. I figure that ignoring that stuff means that I can brew whenever I feel like it and not go belly up as fast as some of the breweries that do.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: euge on March 11, 2014, 05:59:03 PM
AFAIK in Europe you don't need to deal with all that rigamarol. My understanding is if you can brew it you can distribute the beer as well.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on March 17, 2014, 10:48:46 PM
Shoot,

Why I did not read this 4 years ago.
I could have been driving that red Corvette all these times.

Less work and more chick picked up.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: euge on March 18, 2014, 01:43:51 AM
Dude, I'm like "work less make more money". One cannot buy back those hours spent slaving away at some grinding job. I hear your beer is pretty good though and who says it ain't worth it then?
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: majorvices on March 18, 2014, 11:17:10 AM
Shoot,

Why I did not read this 4 years ago.
I could have been driving that red Corvette all these times.

Less work and more chick picked up.

I got into the brewery business for the groupies and the blow. Unfortunately I didn't realize that the groupies all have pot bellies and beards, and the job blows. ;)
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on March 18, 2014, 02:21:46 PM
Shoot,

Why I did not read this 4 years ago.
I could have been driving that red Corvette all these times.

Less work and more chick picked up.

I got into the brewery business for the groupies and the blow. Unfortunately I didn't realize that the groupies all have pot bellies and beards, and the job blows. ;)

Ha ha ha...
The same here.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: phunhog on March 18, 2014, 04:35:48 PM
I plan to brew full time once I retire. I don't mind cleaning, but I'm not going to bother with regulatory, licensing, payroll, financial, contracts, distribution,  or customers. I figure that ignoring that stuff means that I can brew whenever I feel like it and not go belly up as fast as some of the breweries that do.

That's pretty much where I am at now.  I call it "semi-pro" brewing!   With the new CA homebrew law I am donating/pouring a ton of beer at charity events.  The tax deduction and t shirt sales make it a break even proposition for me  plus as you mentioned I don't have to deal with all the bs! 
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: Brewery Bookworks on September 18, 2015, 05:39:30 PM
Interesting article but I have to disagree with "Some folks will try to hire their way out of the financial responsibilities of the company, but that seems like bad strategy to me."  As a bookkeeper specializing in microbreweries I think that having the accounting done right is priority.  Yes, the owner needs to pay attention and be aware of the finances, but that doesn't mean they have to do it all.
Title: Re: So You Think You Want to Open a Brewery...
Post by: rebuiltcellars on October 02, 2015, 12:59:16 PM
AFAIK in Europe you don't need to deal with all that rigamarol. My understanding is if you can brew it you can distribute the beer as well.
Not in any part of Europe I'm familiar with - Finland has far stricter alcohol regulations than the US.  The situation varies country to country (like it does state to state over there), but even countries that are more lenient on alcohol sales have production of items for human consumption (which includes beer) highly regulated.