Thanks. I've read that before and I do agree with much of what is in there.
My logic behind a brewing area is that the location that I'm looking at is fairly small and I would prefer to have the space devoted to seating and kitchen instead of brewery. And, I have to admit, I'm not the neatest guy you'll ever meet although I take sanitation very seriously. I'd prefer to brew in the basement, out of sight but I do understand what you are saying about a viewing area.
The town I'm looking at is small, about 12, 000 people and there are bars and restaurants in the town already but they do not serve craft beer nor do I find the food to be very good. The buildings on the main street are standard small town store fronts and are mostly smaller stores. The downtown is still active. There are other towns nearby but again, there is almost no craft beer presence.
I have to admit, this is something of a mid-life crisis issue as well. I'm 40 years old and I feel I have to make a decision whether to try something new or resign myself to the fact that I'll be working for someone else until I retire. Basically, what do the next 25 years look like. My wife has an income although it is not high and I would need investors to help get started which is why I am thinking of fleshing out a business plan. Basically, the beer I make is pretty good but the business end will need help which is what scares me and what will probably make me abandon this project but I feel like I have to at least investigate it and decide what my options are. And of course, it doesn't help that I have others encouraging me to pursue this (friends who enjoy my beer). I know the reality is that you can't support a business on the praise of your friends, no matter how sincere they are.
I will start with a 7 bbl set up in my plan.