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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: Wetbehindtheears on January 22, 2018, 10:02:35 PM

Title: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: Wetbehindtheears on January 22, 2018, 10:02:35 PM
I am currently thinking about getting in the nano brewpub business in central PA.  I have absolutely no experience in brewing. I do however have over 25yrs managing retail stores that do over $80 million a year. I am looking for a Brewmaster to partner with. I plan on providing the cash needed for startup and the Brewmaster provide the knowledge and experience needed to make this succeed. As I am used to working 60+ hours a week , putting in long hours for me will not be an issue. Could use some ideas on what to look for in a qualified candidate.
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: denny on January 22, 2018, 10:20:03 PM
Do you really mean "nano"?  Using the conventional definition of a nano brewery, there is almost no money to be made.
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: klickitat jim on January 22, 2018, 10:24:36 PM
I think I would go big. I would not buy a job. I would start 30bbl or larger, and recruit a known lead brewer from a known award winning brewery.

Basing this on my home brewing experience, lol. I have a pickup load of stuff from when I started to when I hit cruising speed. Financially, I should have started where I am, rather than waste 6 years and probably $500 on useless garage sale fodder. So, if I were of the mind to start a commercial brewery, I'd start at profit making level.
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: Wetbehindtheears on January 23, 2018, 03:00:01 AM
Do you really mean "nano"?  Using the conventional definition of a nano brewery, there is almost no money to be made.

I was thinking a 3bbl system brewing 4 days a week. I know that is not get rich production, but I am not getting rich working for someone else. My thinking is if I am going to work as many hours as I do why not do it for myself. I really do enjoy working on the food side of the retail business, so I do not think it to much of a stretch to think I would enjoy running a brewpub. I know there is a lot of the business side I am not aware of when it comes to expenses(why I am researching still), but when you say "no money"  could you put a gross $ figure instead for the size of brewpub I am describing. "One man's trash is another man's treasure".
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: klickitat jim on January 23, 2018, 03:12:46 AM
In my neighborhood, 7bbl is a break even starting point. "Buying a job".

Location, customer type, competition, all plays into it. There's no one size fits all answer. A 3bbl mom n pop could do great in a super high traffic touristy spot with year round traffic and no competition.
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: majorvices on January 23, 2018, 03:14:09 AM
I own and operate a brewery that has been in existence for over 7 years and is in three states and unless your 3 bbl system is inside a brew pub (serving food) you will not make enough money to make the endeavor worth your time. If you are starting the brewery as a concept to get investors or larger bank loans that might work but understand that you may need to work a  few years without paying yourself much if anything. Make sure you are in a position to take that risk.
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: Wetbehindtheears on January 23, 2018, 05:38:54 AM
I hope I don't seem argumentive, I appreciate everyone that replies. It has given me more to think about and research. The location I am looking at is in a town that has a population of 78,000 within a five mile radius with a median income of $74,000. The street it's on has a daily traffic of 18,000 cars. Was really wanting to start on the small size so I could learn about the brewing process. But sounds like a 3bbl plan won't get it done. I really didn't want to sell off premises, but if I go any bigger there is no way to sell that much beer without doing so. 
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: Stevie on January 23, 2018, 07:29:58 AM
3bbl will get you just shy of 3k pints per week at four batches. Figuring 2 pints per adult you’d have enough for about 200 people per day. Might not be enough. You may be able to pour other breweries beers as well.
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: majorvices on January 24, 2018, 02:00:52 PM
I started from a 3 bbl brewery so I'll give you some tips.

#1) Hire a great brewer. If you do not know nothing about brewing you are already starting off on a very bad foot. I brewed for 15 years before I started my brewery and even then I had a mountain to climb in learning how to brew commercially. Luckily I had  alot of friends in the industry.

#2) start as big as you can afford. 3 bbls might seem like it will pay the bills but you are making some assumption (for instance, that you will have good beer). I have a 20 bbl brewhouse, 60 bbl tanks, and 2 shifts and my brew house is too small.

3) Restaurant! If you really want to make money you better serve food at your location. The tasting rooms and pubs that do well serve food. And if you really plan on being successful teh fod better be great.

As a side: We have a restaurant lease a space in our tatsing room, I have no desire to run a restaurant but we are primarily a production brewery.
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: Wetbehindtheears on January 24, 2018, 03:19:31 PM
 Thanks Majorvices. Not having any brewing experience is a major concern of mine. Finding a great brewer is obviously step one. If I can't do that than the process stops. I am intrigued about the leasing of space to restaurant. One concern I have and wonder how you handle that is quality control. Their performance would have a direct impact on the brewery.
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: majorvices on January 24, 2018, 05:02:20 PM
Thanks Majorvices. Not having any brewing experience is a major concern of mine. Finding a great brewer is obviously step one. If I can't do that than the process stops. I am intrigued about the leasing of space to restaurant. One concern I have and wonder how you handle that is quality control. Their performance would have a direct impact on the brewery.

We hired a couple that ran an excellent food truck. Since then they have gone on to start another location in another city so they are doing pretty well. Their pizza was awesome and they had a great vision.

Excuse the horrible grammar and sentences in my previous post I was awake all night with a coughing spouse! lol
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 29, 2018, 03:02:17 AM
Renting a kitchen is an interesting idea but how do you divide who is responsible for what? Who employs servers? You or the kitchen? Could you share on your arraignment?


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Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: klickitat jim on January 29, 2018, 03:21:30 AM
Renting a kitchen is an interesting idea but how do you divide who is responsible for what? Who employs servers? You or the kitchen? Could you share on your arraignment?


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Hopefully no arraignment

Sorry, couldn't help it
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: jimmykx250 on January 29, 2018, 09:51:11 AM
Renting a kitchen is an interesting idea but how do you divide who is responsible for what? Who employs servers? You or the kitchen? Could you share on your arraignment?

A place by us has just done this as they wanted to focus on the beer end and the food was just too much. Visited once since the change and the menu is off the chart. I must say he did the right thing. I asked one of the managers and they feel they did the right thing. How do the numbers work out never asked but i would think its a win/win if the place is hopping.

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Title: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: Stevie on January 29, 2018, 03:25:05 PM
Renting a kitchen is an interesting idea but how do you divide who is responsible for what? Who employs servers? You or the kitchen? Could you share on your arraignment?

A place by us has just done this as they wanted to focus on the beer end and the food was just too much. Visited once since the change and the menu is off the chart. I must say he did the right thing. I asked one of the managers and they feel they did the right thing. How do the numbers work out never asked but i would think its a win/win if the place is hopping.

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A spot in San Diego subleased their kitchen and food service. Works for them, but I could see nightmares of the bad partnership variety occurring with lack of perceived ownership and responsibility.

ETA - they don’t have severs. Order at the counter and expo runs the food out. Not sure who handles bussing.
Title: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 30, 2018, 05:40:06 PM
Restaurant business is the whole different thing. So I wonder how other people are doing it. I do not want to get to the restaurant business but I still want to have food in here. And food truck are not cutting it.
Title: Re: Best way to find Brewmaster for startup brewpub
Post by: James K on March 03, 2018, 11:58:44 PM
I hope I don't seem argumentive, I appreciate everyone that replies. It has given me more to think about and research. The location I am looking at is in a town that has a population of 78,000 within a five mile radius with a median income of $74,000. The street it's on has a daily traffic of 18,000 cars. Was really wanting to start on the small size so I could learn about the brewing process. But sounds like a 3bbl plan won't get it done. I really didn't want to sell off premises, but if I go any bigger there is no way to sell that much beer without doing so.

This sounds like a similar demographic to where I am. We have 3 breweries here that use 3bnl systems. One has garbage beer, off flavors etc. the whole town thinks the beer sucks. But the also have a liquor license, coffee shop and restaurant. Prime local, their guest taps are better.

Another spot here makes 100 different beers a year. And is always brewing randomly. They started as home brewers but are trying to expand after 2 years already. They added a food truck after bring in business a while. It’s like a separate entity but to brewery staff touches food.

The third spot uses food trucks and the owner also has a job where he doesn’t need the brewery to pay his bills. He has food trucks on a regular basis. He also is not looking to get huge and enjoys his craft more than anything.

If I were to do this I’ve been thinking of a 5bbl system with 10 and 20bbl fermentation tanks. I don’t really want yo sell food, just beer. But would also suggest that your weekly net sales is going to start around 5-10k a week. 10k being very generous.

More than anything I would hire a brewer to get consistency.