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Messages - Thirsty_Monk

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Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 21, 2011, 01:29:16 PM »
On a 5 or 10 gallon system the beer was always worth way more to me to drink or share with friends than to sell. You put In hours and hours of hard work just to turn around and sell and barely break even and if you count the time and labor you'd actually lose money.
Somehow people do not want to listen.
Let them learn hard way.

It is like talking about water for BoPils.

Ingredients / Re: Pilsner Malt Extract Yield: Best Malz vs. Weyermann
« on: August 20, 2011, 07:39:55 PM »
Also to my experience Best Pilsner has an better extract then Weyermenn Pilsner.

Equipment and Software / Re: 1 to 3 barrel systems?
« on: August 20, 2011, 07:33:23 PM » has a shaky reputation.
NABS was sold off to Allied Beverage Tanks out of Chicago.
Premier stainless has a great reputation. They buy their equipment in China and retrofit it in the US.

I read recently that Stout Tanks did custom electric 3 BBL brewhouse.
I did not buy anything from them so I do not know how reliable they are.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My New Sour Beer Website
« on: August 18, 2011, 06:22:31 PM »
Looking good

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 11:58:11 AM »
Twitter is a waste of time.
I disagree.  Twitter can be a great marketing tool - though too many out there just use it to point to their Facebook page.  

Czech mate!  ;) 

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 11:47:40 AM »
Tim - I understand the concept. Since it's free, you don't lose anything but your time, so there's no reason not to do it, but how do you turn worldwide interest into cash in your pocket? Your long-lost out-of-town friends won't just send you money for nothing, will they? They still have to go to you establishment to buy your product.

Good point. A small local brewer doesn't benefit monetarily from a fan across the country that has never had his beer.

We actually decided NOT to have a facebook page as a "prestige and mystery" branding. It's worked well. I've had a lot of people show up at the brewery simply because they could not find out enough about us. Also, I hate facebook. So that worked well for me.  ;)
We use Facebook as marketing tool. Instead of connecting lost friends we connect current customers. It Actually works. Twitter is a waste of time.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 11:43:39 AM »
Quote from: majorvices=topic=8666.msg109105#msg109105 date=1313687666
merry a loyer or a doctor.

Or an English teacher?  ;)  lol

The Coop I'm with is looking at starting with either a 10 or 15 barrel system.
Brewing Czech beers. I do not have to.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 10:21:31 AM »
There are two kind of people who open breweries.
1) with love of the beer
2) with love of the money.
May be I am a fool but that is how I see it.

I think that's a good way to look at it, but I also think you need both kinds of person to run a business.

I obviously don't have a brewery, but a widget is a widget, and a business is a business (more or less). In my business we have one partner who provided most of the capital, and is very cautious/fastidious with money matters, one partner who has the passion and love for the business but isn't very good at saving or keeping money, and me who mostly provides sweat equity and a different perspective and makes the whole thing run smoothly.

I guess what I'm saying is, to start a business without much capital, along with all the other things you need we've talked about already, you need some business partners you can trust and who have the skills/personality you lack.
I do not necessary agree with you that brewing is just another business. We all know that it takes the same amount of hours and man power to brew 10 Gal batch or 10 gallon batch.
I do agree that brewing beer is food manufacturing thou.

Well kegs are done washing time to do something else.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 10:14:26 AM »
Brew Monger - I guess you didn't see where I said I am an example of brewing on a 1bbl system. I'm still running a pro brewery on a system that is incredibly too small! I certainly know you can make it work, as long as you don't mind making it work without paying yourself anything. This is the only warning I have been trying to make through the entire thread - understand what you are getting into. You are talking about years of hard work, very little (if any) pay, and lots of over head capital and very litttle profit coming in. the only way to grow at a 1bbbl capacity is to either dig deeper into your savings, get a loan or find investors. because you will always only be making ends meet.
There is another way merry a loyer or a doctor.
Avoid teacher or fast food workers.

The point that a lot of small businesses would not survive without the second study family income.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 10:07:51 AM »
first person who shows me on paper how to make a living on a 1-2 bbl system get's a free beer.  ;) Once you run the numbers it becomes pretty clear. I can understand someone starting at 1-2 bbl (though, having gone through that I wouldn't recommend it necessarily) - can't ever understand staying at that level. The one exception I have been overlooking is a pub or tasting room. I'm considering production facility only.

Here is the website (Specificlly a photo showing his' brewery') for Epic Ales in Seattle.  His beers can be found in local bars & local bottle shops.  And apparently I exaggerated. He brews on a ONE barrel system.
It remains to be seen if he can make a living though.  I was embarrassed when an AHA bigwig was in town and was given a bottle that had clear contamination.  I've gotten some bad bottles myself, and now mostly avoid the brand.  His recipes are interesting and I hope he will be successful.  But he's got to get the issues worked out or he'll fail no matter what the size of his system.  Maybe he's already cleaned things up but I wouldn't know because, like I said, I'm avoiding the brand.  I guess some people will keep going back for phenol-bombs, but not me.
If you want to open a brewery please know how to brew and package clean beers.
Do not do it for "COOL" effect.
For that you would open a T-Shirt printing shop. (I apologize to all T-Short printing shops)

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 18, 2011, 09:20:19 AM »
I see that discussion have moved from financing to marketing.

While cleaning 40 1/2 BBL kegs I was thinking about it.
There are two kind of people who open breweries.
1) with love of the beer
2) with love of the money.

if you are in 1) category:

You decide what you want to be.
Pick the slogan what best represent you.
Pick the customer who you want to sell your product.
and finally do you have enough customers in your targeted area.
SO if you are in it for the love of beer you are setting up the expectations.

If you are in 2) category:
you buy a market research for demographics in targeted area (because your investors would not believe your analysis).
you target only people wit $$$ amount of household income.
You spend a lot of time and money in Point of sale items.
You spend a good amount of money on public image.
and you brew a beer to the intended demographics expectations (mostly contract brewing because brewing equipment is expensive).

May be I am a fool but that is how I see it.

Going Pro / Re: First Steps
« on: August 17, 2011, 08:32:04 AM »
Yes it is a hassle to work for yourself.

First before you put any money into it go to the city hall and ask them what kind of licensing they want from you.
Then stop in the zoning department and ask them how you need to be zoned. Do not skimp on this one. Tell then what exactly you want to do there (brewing, Tap room, retail). We have to be zoned industrial. I did not have to have building inspector so ask them for it too.

Because I am a production brewery I am govern by state Agg department. If I serve food I would be govern by local health department. (I am a wholesale food manufacturer). So stop at state agg department building and get all their regulations you have to comply with. This will be how your brewery should be furnished, lighting, metal detectors (in food)...

Once you have all the info go to look for the rental space. You have to have floor drain and water (at least 3/4" pipe) enough electricity and gas. when you find the space call your agg department inspector if he can look at the space and what you need to do to bring it up to the code. Also if you need to have a local building inspector do the same. Go to the city and let them know that you want to rent that space if it is O.K. with them. Do not miss visiting zoning department.

Do this before you spend a dollar.
Get familiar with Federal Brewer's Notice packet.

If everything looks good with appropriate parties rent a space.
This is a catch 22.
You want to declare your business for your rental space but you have to sigh a lease as a business.
Work it out with your landlord.
Get insurance for your business.

Now the spending will began.
File your local licenses.
When you have it file your federal Brewers Notice and get a bond.
Work on the getting equipment.
Once you have a Brewers Notice file for label approval.

Once your label is approved file for state brewers licence (this is different then agg department license).
When your equipment is assembled get inspected by agg department inspector (for this you do not have to wait for federal or state license).

Start brewing.

Most state/local government employees do not know what to do with you. There is not that many breweries around. Be patient and friendly. Remember Local government can stop you from opening a brewery just because you are too close to the school or church.

Finally contact you water department and ask them what they want from you. When you are at it ask them for water analysis.

I am sure I forgot something.
It took me full year from the idea to first brew.
It took me 1/2 a year of renting space without brewing.

Hess brewing blog is a good source of info but your conditions and regulations might very because you are in different state then me or them.

Good luck

Double brewing Bo Pils today. Done with first one working on the second now.

All Grain Brewing / Re: fix my Bohemian Pilsner
« on: August 13, 2011, 06:58:53 PM »
I agree with Jeff and Paul.

I did not try floor malted bohemian pilsner malt yet but none of the malts available here taste like malt in Czech republic.
You could blend two pilsner malts together to get you a bigger depth.

Yeast strain is importand. Use Czech yeast strain.

Water should be soft to medium hardness.

If you do not decoct at least do the step mash.

If you step mash Munich or Caramunich will give you melenoiens of decoction mash.

And finally. Czech pilsner is not crisp. German pilsner is crisp.

Going Pro / Re: First Steps
« on: August 12, 2011, 10:26:40 AM »
Fightman. I will answer your questions when I have a little bit of time.
Filtering today :)

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