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Messages - newrocset

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16
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 10, 2013, 06:02:26 AM »
I think he just wants to be sure I stick with it when it gets tough.  He has an investor so the funds are there and I'm not planning on borrowing anything to make this happen.

17
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 08, 2013, 08:38:40 PM »
The other side of the question, how often does a 7 barrel brewhouse need to be used to pay for itself. Brewing on it twice a month might be convenient for you, but that is really expensive equipment sitting idle for 28 days per month.

- Sent by my R2 unit

And it is certainly something that I want to avoid.  The best choice in this scenario would be to hire a full time brewer that could make this happen.  It would be stupid for me to let equipment stand idle and lose money on account of my ego.

18
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 08, 2013, 08:33:15 PM »
You're right that brew pubs in OK have an uphill battle because they can only serve 3.2. You mentioned college town, so it's either Sooners or Cowboys! How well do you know your market?

I'm a STW import, and if that's where youre looking, I'd be cautious about bringing in a brewpub, simply because the market is not very deep. Its limited beyond students and they're perfectly happy with cheap domestic long necks. Add in a handle of established bars with good craft selections for good prices, and you'll struggle to shift a bunch of 3.2 at brew pub prices. Especially if I can get a double IPA for the same price or less next door. I just don't see brew pubs in OK being successful until laws change.
That's a really good point.  I thought about it briefly, then left it on the backburner.  It gives me reason to make the case to open this restaurant in Tulsa rather than Stillwater.  I think a 3.2 brew pub would do fine in Tulsa as long as the beers tasted good.  There really are a variety of low point styles to choose from that are still good.  I think the problem with brew pubs in OK is that they are all trying to make high point beers into 3.2 beers, which is just plain stupid and makes brew pubs looks bad.

19
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 08, 2013, 04:19:18 PM »
I would be concerned that not only does he not know anything about beer but that he knows nothing about running a restaurant and nothing about running a business in general.

That was my first thought.

Mine too!  There are certainly a lot of things that can go wrong with this....very wrong!  Actually, when he told me that he would allow me 50% ownership, that raised a red flag.  If it were my business, I would want to own 100% and simply hire the people to handle the areas I don't know (i.e. food prep, management, brewing, etc...), so I'm kinda curious as to why he would want me to own 50%.  Maybe he just wants to make sure I stay - again, kinda weird since he doesn't know me.  I'm sure I'll find out in due time...but I'm not making any commitments until I'm sure of it.
On the liability front, I have been under the impression that an LLC will offer at least some protection to your personal assets?  At any rate, I'm not going to borrow any money for this venture, so I'll be sure to think twice before taking any offers of ownership.

20
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 07, 2013, 09:07:51 PM »
In all honesty, this came about when a guy came up to me last week during an event at our State Capitol.  My wife and I own a company that makes soaps w/hops and malt, dog treats made of spent grains, and other bath and pet products.  We also launched a small batch brew kit line that we are currently working to promote.

Anyway, this guy who works for the dept. of ag. told me he was looking for a brewer for this restaurant he wants to open.  I told him I'm interested, and he told me he'd be willing to give me up to 50% ownership.  He said he has a business plan, but I don't how detailed it is.  I'd have to look at it.  He seems like a good guy with a lot of passion for good food.  I don't think he knows too much about beer, and has no clue what it takes run a brew pub.  So that's why he's looking for a brewer.  I really don't know where this is going to go at this point, but I do want to steer him (and myself) in the right direction.

As far as I'm concerned, this is an excercise in figuring out what it would take to open a successful brewpub operation.  The state of Oklahoma is just beginning to see an emerging craft beer scene, but the brewpub scene sucks.  There are only a few in the state and the ones that exist are crap.  Given that scenario, this is good time to open a brew pub - as long at is can serve quality 3.2 ABW beer (as per OK statute).  I realize the challenges ahead of me are great, but I would be pretty upset with myself if I didn't try.  What sucks is the attitude among brewers in this state that 3.2 beer is no good.  I'm positive I can prove them wrong.

The least I can do at this point, is to give him an estimate of what it would cost to run a brewpub, and figure out a way to get a full-time brewer on site.  It's really kinda fun...so far!

21
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 07, 2013, 05:22:37 PM »
I'm not doing this so I can fart around, and play with professional equipment, but I would like to learn how to use it.  I realize the seriousness of it, the risk, the hard work, the learning curve, and the dedication needed to make this work....It would be a helluva lot easier for me to sit back with a sweet homebrew system and play with that all day, but I know that I have the ability to do something more.

I posted on this forum because I am trying to conduct serious research on this and I value the feedback.  I have read each and every post on this forum in my effort to develop an understanding of what it takes to make a good thing happen for me and the craft brewing community in my state.  In fact brewpubs suck in Oklahoma, point blank.  They are limited to serving 3.2 beer so they constantly try to make a stylistically high point point beer into a low point beer and it never works.  I would like to change that by showcasing the wonderful low point beers that are available amongst the styles.  Hopefully the laws here will change, but right now we gotta work with what we got.

It would be great to able to ditch my job to be a professional brewer.  I can't afford to that now, but I can educate myself.  I apologize for my ignorance re: equipment and methods of a professional brewery, but again, that's why I'm here.

I really, really appreciate the feedback I am receiving and I take your comments seriously.  It's really helping clear up some issues I was foggy on and helping me see those avenues of research that I have failed to see before.  So if it's Okay with others, I will continue to post ideas and questions in an effort to receive some valuable constructive criticism  ;)

22
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 06, 2013, 09:08:44 PM »
What if I got a 7 barrel system, brewed one house beer, then supplemented with a craft beer menu?

Doing the math gives me 57 pints/day with one brew session per month.  I could get away with one fermenter and one bright tank, right?  We would not be making much money on the house brew, but it would create a draw, which is really what we are going after.  I think this would make us less dependent on the brewing side of the restaurant, cut our costs on ingredients and labor, and help us focus more on quality rather than quantity.  Sound like a decent business model?

Also, I discovered I would have a 90 minute commute rather than 1 hour...yikes! :o...however it would still be worth it if I got to practice on professional equipment and became a licensed brewer - as long as I only need to make the commute every few days, I'd be quite happy.

23
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 06, 2013, 04:40:23 PM »
Thanks for the responses.  This all came about at an event to promote my wife's business.  We sell small batch beer kits and a vendor told me he is looking for a brewer for a restaurant/brew pub that he wants to open this fall.  He has a business plan and investor and is currently looking for a space.  I will meet with him next week to explore further and give him an idea on how much floor space will be needed for a brewery in the restaurant.  Here are my thoughts:
1.  Beer will be served only at the brew pub.  It will not be packaged for distribution.  I would like to serve it directly from the bright tanks, but will probably need to keg for storage purposes.
2.  I will need an assistant or two.  Hopefully someone who knows brewing, but being in a college town, maybe I'll get an engineering or chemistry major that is hungry for a cool side job.
3.  I don't know commercial equipment, but I'm positive I will learn it pretty fast.  Hopefully we will secure a space and system so I can start learning it while I do the paperwork to make my brews legal.
4.  Sales projections are unknown as of today, but I'm guessing it will be pretty busy during football season...at least I hope so!
5.  I want to start with 4 low point ales on tap.  I'm guessing I can brew each one on the first of my 7 days off.  The question is how much do I want to brew?  If I can get away with a system smaller than 7 barrels, I will, I'm just worried about keeping up with the demand.  I also have scattered days off throughout the month where I can attend to operations.
6.  There is no way I will quit my day job unless the brew pub becomes incredibly lucrative...a 2 hour round trip commute won't kill me if it's a path to recognize my goals...I'm not getting any younger!
7.  My long term plan is to open another brew pub in my home city and a off-premises brewery between the 2 cities.  This will allow me to brew high point beer and distribute off-site.

This is basics of what I'm planning.  Any input is appreciated as there is a lot of knowledge and talent in this forum!

24
Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: April 06, 2013, 12:10:18 AM »
I'm about to jump in to an offer to operate the brewing end of a brewpub, which I'm both apprehensive and excited to do.

This venue is going to seat 125.  It will be in a college town.   We will only be able to serve 3.2ABW beers due to our current statutes.

I am thinking we will need a 7 barrel system to keep 4-5 different beers on tap.  Is this sufficient?  Can I do it with less?  Approximately, how much space would I need for a system this size?

Also, the location is about an hour from my house, but I get 7 straight days off of work per month, plus a few days scattered throughout.  Does it seem realistic for me to manage the brewing operations given my work schedule?


25
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cramming for a BJCP Tasting Exam
« on: October 02, 2012, 06:50:27 PM »
You can organize a BJCP sanctioned competition now that you are a member and either an apprentice judge since you took the exam or recognized judge if you passed the exam. If you organize a completion, it will help move you up in the BJCP ranks to become a certified judge...you will also need judging points to move up so you could kill two birds with one stone in that respect.

I'll take a crack on the off flavor for the pils and say it was due to water.  If you brew that style with moderate to high mineral content in your water, it will give a mildly astringent and heavily harsh feel due to the hops clashing with the minerals in the water.  That may have been what you were tasting in the pils that you couldn't put your finger on.

26
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sunday Success double BIAB brew Day
« on: September 29, 2012, 05:48:19 AM »
I have been developing small batches myself, mostly for experimentation at this point.  I've had mixed results since I'm trying different pitching practices and fermentation temps...I have been using dry yeast for my 2 gallon batches...last one I did, I used 1/2 a pack and I don't think it's enough.

What kind of mash temps do you use for brew in a bag?  Are they the same as a regular all-grain brew, or do you make adjustments?  Also, I'm wondering if pitching a whole pack of dry yeast is too much.
I'm also thinking of doing a 2 gallon batch as a lager starter for a Baltic Porter or MaiBock and just pitching a smack pack in the wort...does a small batch lager ferment out quicker than a 5 gallon batch?

27
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First German Dark Beer
« on: September 29, 2012, 05:05:57 AM »
It's easy to get your wort 10-15 degrees lower using a 20gallon bucket (from lowes/home depot) and frozen 2-liter bottles (or anything that you can refreeze).  The only drawback is having to change them out every 12 hours, but this is how I ferment all my beers including lagers with great success.

28
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cramming for a BJCP Tasting Exam
« on: September 24, 2012, 09:48:27 PM »
Take a deep breath....you have very little time to learn all the essentials of each style - but you can still cram to get a basic premise...If I were in your position, I would do the following:

Read all BJCP styles 1-19 and 22 over and over and over every single day if you can.
Read the troubleshooting section of the BJCP study guide over and over and over every single day.
There is also a good section in the BJCP study guide that tells you how to evaluate - read that, especially if you are new to judging.

Keep in mind, that your objective is to become a better brewer - you can always take the tasting exam again if you choke, and if you have already completed the written/multiple choice part, then you have a great foundation.  Have fun learning about all the beer styles and tasting at the exam!

For my exam, I modified the BJCP styles into a table format to make it easier to study - send me an email or PM with your email and I'll send it to you as a word attachment.

29
Ingredients / Re: Dry hop help
« on: September 23, 2012, 09:48:21 PM »
I mostly ferment in glass carboys and wait 'till the Krausen subsides substantially but there are a few bubbles left on top indicating fermentation is slowing down...then I drop my hops in.  I've been using whole leaf hops with nice results, but pellets are fine and a little easier to deal with.  I'm a proponent of letting the hops roam free in the beer, so I don't contain them in any mesh bags or rigs.  I've read that it's best to package after about 4 days of dry hopping, but I always forget to do this....I've had a dry-hopped amber sitting in the carboy for about 3 weeks now, lol!

30
Going Pro / Re: How I Raised $1.25 Million To Start My Brewery
« on: September 23, 2012, 09:23:06 PM »
Nice article...
So...what does it take to pay back your investors and turn around to make your own $1.25 million off your brewery?

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