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Messages - johnnyb

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16
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: January 04, 2012, 02:18:25 PM »
don't get me wrong I think you should go for it! what's the worst that could happen?

Personal bankruptcy and losing all my investor's capitol?   :o

I mean I'm certainly willing to bust my butt and take some major risks, particularly with my own money, but only if the rewards potentially offer a viable business venture moving forward.

If my property was zoned for multi-use and I had a suitable detached building to site the nanobrewery, I would consider starting on a really small scale. But as it stands now I would need to lease commercial space and also meet whatever demands the local municipality makes of me as far as outfitting the facility, which basically means a money losing proposition with almost 100% certainty as far as I can tell so far.
 

17
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: January 04, 2012, 01:54:17 PM »
Thanks for all the great answers guys - it's been very helpful even if not quite what I was hoping to hear.

18
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: January 04, 2012, 01:38:35 PM »
Could you quantify that in percentages? Something like a 10bbl brewery would be roughly 1.50 times more costly to build than a 3 bbl brewery...

Also, what do you think would be the "sweet spot" between being big enough to gain some gains in efficiency, yet stay small enough to qualify as a nano brewery under New Hampshire law? (2000 bbl per year - over that you fall under different and more costly regulations.) 

19
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: January 04, 2012, 01:20:54 PM »
My personal feeling is I think you could make it work with a tasting room, off premise sales (growlers to go) and low volume local distribution on a 3 bbl scale. Maybe even a 2 bbl scale. Especially if you could sell growlers for sale at grocery stores/beer vendors. You may even be able to make a living at it, as long as you don't mind eating ramen.

Along these lines, is it even possible to make it work in a state where you can't sell and distribute from the same location? I am looking at a brew pub as a "pipe dream", but I could only serve my beer on-site, and people could only take it home in growlers due to our archaic laws. i am in Houston, and in this "town" of 6 million in the metro area, there are a grand total of 0 brewpubs, so the market is definitely there. I am guessing that any brew pub here would pretty much make all of its money on food, and lose some on the brewing? I have seen the beer culture explode here, so I am not sure how much longer these laws will be on the books...

The problem with a brewpub is you need a lot more money to get it started. And you need to understand the restaurant business, which is another whole enchilada all to itself.

20
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: January 04, 2012, 12:49:41 PM »
My personal feeling is I think you could make it work with a tasting room, off premise sales (growlers to go) and low volume local distribution on a 3 bbl scale. Maybe even a 2 bbl scale. Especially if you could sell growlers for sale at grocery stores/beer vendors. You may even be able to make a living at it, as long as you don't mind eating ramen.


Hey I've survived off Ramen before! My wife and kid might not appreciate it though.

Seriously, I wouldn't be doing it to get rich - but I would need to pay the mortgage (luckily a small one!) and feed my family. I guess I'll keep me eyes on the legislation and start drafting the business plan and see if the numbers start to make any sense at all.

I'm also trying to get a part time unpaid apprenticeship at a local brewery that started on the nano scale and recently expanded to 7 bbl - but they haven't replied to my emails yet. Unless I get accepted into their apprenticeship program and gain that valuable experience on bigger systems, it would probably be a foolish endeavor for me anyway.

21
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: January 04, 2012, 11:33:24 AM »
What I'm wondering is, if that last requirement is in fact changed to allow on-premise sale and consumption of beer without the 4oz limitation, how much does it change all of the assumptions within this forum (and elsewhere) regarding minimum system requirements for profitability?

What kind of liquor license do you need? How much would it cost? What would your insurance premiums be? Bars tend to be high-volume, low-margin operations.

I believe if the law gets changed per how they are lobbying, you could sell on-site under the nano license for $240 annually.

I have no clue about insurance premiums, and would have to work that out if I decide to develop a detailed business plan. I guess someone operating a brewpub in my state could ballpark estimate that figure for me?

Edit: I just realized you probably meant do I need a local liquor license in addition to the nano license... Hmmm, not sure but probably. I suspect the cost probably varies by city. I'll ask the owner of the bar near me if he minds sharing what his local license cost annually.

22
Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: January 04, 2012, 10:08:03 AM »
I've read with great interest all of the information in this thread, particularly from those with real life experience opening small scale breweries. I'm in the much-much-closer-to-a-pipe-dream-than-a-reality stage of considering opening a nano scale brewery, and the information in this thread has been a real eye opener for me.

While my home state appears to be very nano-friendly based on recent legislative changes, the economics of profitably operating a system in the 1 to 3.5 barrel range still appear to be grim. At first glance, it seems that one could operate on a nano scale under only a few select circumstances:

1) Operating at break-even or a loss in the hopes to establish name recognition/demand, and with the financial resources readily available to quickly expand to 7-barrels or larger

2) Life circumstance such that you can operate a break-even business and/or have some kind of advantage such as already owning a suitable property with minimal capital investment required and practically zero overhead


Unfortunately, my current personal situation doesn't place me within one of those circumstances. However, there is a small glimmer of hope in that the folks who lobbied for the new nano legislation are now lobbying to make further changes in the law which would allow for the on-premise serving and consumption of beer without the requirement to operate a full-service restaurant.


Here are the basics of the current nano laws as I understand them:

* $240 annual license fee
* $0.30/gallon state tax
* Self-distribution is allowed
* Maximum 2000 barrel annual production to qualify as nano
* Can sell growlers and cases on-premise for off-premise consumption
* Can sell/give away one 4-ounce serving per label for on-premise consumption (tasting room)


What I'm wondering is, if that last requirement is in fact changed to allow on-premise sale and consumption of beer without the 4oz limitation, how much does it change all of the assumptions within this forum (and elsewhere) regarding minimum system requirements for profitability? Is it worth the effort of further fleshing out a very detailed business plan with the hopes the law does get changed, or at a quick glance would this model still be doomed to likely failure?


My very rough model would be as follows:

* Start with something like a 2 to 3.5 barrel system primarily for on-site sale by the pint.
* Would not maintain cooperage with the exception of the fleet of kegs required to operate my own draft system.
* The only distribution would be self-distributed bombers of bottle-conditioned Belgian style ales (these sell for a premium in my area) which would occasionally be brewed on a 10-gallon system, which will otherwise be used for pilot batches for the main brewery. Would also sell growlers from the taps.
* Would need to lease and outfit a suitable building.
* Have no idea at the moment how many seats would be allowed in the serving room under the proposed regulations. I'm assuming this is a huge part of the equation.
* A have a friend who is a lawyer/cpa who would help draft the business plan, and another who is an engineer in bio who would help plan the system requirements, but would still need to hire some folks to plumb, wire, and buildout the facility.
* Finances are an issue. I could come up with maybe $60,000 cash, and believe I could get roughly the same amount in investments on an "equity only" basis from friends and family. (Meaning no dividends and their investment would grow only with the value of the business growing - at least for the first few years.)


Thanks for your time reading such a long post! Hopefully there is enough information to make a reasonably educated guess.

23
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Membership
« on: January 03, 2012, 07:19:14 PM »
I signed up for the forums a while back but just finally joined AHA today. I see lots of familiar user names from the NB forums over here!

24
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Efficiency Calcs
« on: January 17, 2011, 06:27:49 PM »
Every malt will have a maximum yield noted on the Malt Analysis Sheet as % Extract, Fine Grind,
As is. The Brewhouse Efficiency is the percent of the maximum yield that you actually extract.

So if the maximum yield of a particular grain is 37 points-per-gallon and you generate 8 gallons
of preboil wort from 8 pounds of grain your gravity reading at 100% efficiency would be 1.037. So if your actual gravity
reading was 1.028 your brewhouse efficiency is 75%.  

28/37 = 0.75 or 75%.

Palmer chapter 18 goes into this in great detail and it's what I referenced to help write this
response. It's a good read.

25
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dornbusch's Advice for Alt?
« on: January 09, 2011, 08:22:49 AM »
CaraAroma has a toasty notes.
I would leave it out.
Another trick is to add Carafa Special to the mash out.
This will reduce contact time and gives you the color but reduce roastines.

Could I add the Carafa Special just prior to batch sparging and let the sparge water soak for 5 or 10 minutes before draining?

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