Author Topic: "The Grand Timeline"  (Read 4272 times)

Offline afacini

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
"The Grand Timeline"
« on: March 09, 2012, 10:33:04 AM »
So let's say you have a full business plan written out, got some estimates on equipment, a rough idea of real estate costs (inc. renovations), and a willing investor. The dream!!

Now is the cart-before-before-the-horse question: In what order do you proceed?

For the sake of argument, let's say you can purchase the real estate at any time. When do you do this?

I am aware that TTB is absolutely overwhelmed with requests, as are many local authorities. The process of getting certified and cleared could take up to a year, according to new breweries I've talked to.

So should you go and get your property and proceed on renovations while proceeding with TTB? Or is it a strict one-before-the-other situation?

This is something I'm still not clear about, and any insight is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: My current understanding is this...
Close on real estate--> Submit TTB application --> Receive TTB license --> Submit local app --> Receive local license --> Complete construction, renovation, etc. --> Open for business

It might be easier to just make corrections on this instead. Thanks again.
 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 10:39:18 AM by afacini »

Offline anthony

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 234
  • Hoppy to help!
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 10:39:28 AM »
The order is typically: real estate, architect/construction, local health department, TTB, state licensing, local licensing.

Some parts of the order can vary depending on your state, but TTB requires you to supply either a lease that specifically states you will be placing a brewery on the property or a deed showing that you own the property. The TTB also requires a floor plan. And often times, the local health department will want to check over all of that before you start construction. In many states, state licensing requires you to submit your approved Brewer's notice from the TTB and in many areas, local licensing requires you to submit your state licensing.

Offline afacini

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 10:45:18 AM »
TTB requires you to supply either a lease that specifically states you will be placing a brewery on the property or a deed showing that you own the property. The TTB also requires a floor plan. And often times, the local health department will want to check over all of that before you start construction.

Thank you! This is very important, something I did hear once but forgot about.

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3157
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 10:47:02 AM »
Step One is to incorporate and register your trade name (if applicable) and trade marks. If you even discuss your plans with anyone else without those protections in place, you're putting your whole business in jeopardy.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4533
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2012, 11:36:49 AM »
Step One is to incorporate and register your trade name (if applicable) and trade marks. If you even discuss your plans with anyone else without those protections in place, you're putting your whole business in jeopardy.
Some local pros have said the first hire is your Attorney. Which meshes nicely with Step One above.

Second hire was the Accountant.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline afacini

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2012, 12:55:48 PM »
Alright, thanks again everyone. Here's a revised road map... thoughts?

  • Staff - Attorney
  • Staff - Accountant
  • Legal - Incorporation, etc.
  • Real estate - Acquire space
  • Legal - Local food health license, building permits
  • Legal - TTB application, Local application (order depends on local rules)
  • External - Hire architect and/or contractor to plan build-out
  • External - Physical renovations and build-out; equipment installation
  • Staff - Hiring any operational staff (brewhouse, food service if applicable)
  • Legal - Receive TTB and Local licenses
  • Beer - Open for business

So that the goal is to prepare everything necessary while the TTB and local licenses are pending. When you get the go-ahead to brew, that is the last roadblock. Does this make sense?

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3157
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 01:35:01 PM »
I'd submit the brewer's packet the day you sign your lease/mortgage. Average lead time at TTB is about 115 days right now.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 01:39:07 PM »
I wouldn't hire until licensing is set - no point in hiring anyone until you are allowed to brew, and you won't be allowed to brew until you have licensing.  Depending on the planned size you may want to hire some key players or be doing interviews before licensing, but not much before since licensing can take a long time.  You'll know more as you go along though, so your tentative plan is fine I think (if you submit right away as Sean suggests).
Tom Schmidlin

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6306
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 03:54:58 PM »
I don't mean to sound dickish - so please don't take this the wrong way. But if you still haven't learned to brew all grain yet I feel the compulsion to dissuade you from even considering opening a brewery. There is so much to learn to make a good beer on a large scale and even though extract brewing is a feasible approach it is way more expensive to pull off. Give it a few years before you start making any serious plans. There are way too many breweries starting up now that the dream of opening a brewery is in front of actually learning the brewing process, and in todays tight market that is a sure sign of failure.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3157
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 04:50:58 PM »
But if you still haven't learned to brew all grain yet I feel the compulsion to dissuade you from even considering opening a brewery.

Solid advice, *if* you're planning on doing the actual brewing.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1839
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2012, 06:21:19 PM »
Step One is to incorporate and register your trade name (if applicable) and trade marks. If you even discuss your plans with anyone else without those protections in place, you're putting your whole business in jeopardy.
I was on short side of the stick with this one.
Now we have two trademarks.

TTB tells you you need to be 90% done with your construction and equipment before you apply for license.
We started in rented facility that was used before for food preparation and ready for us.
It was only 1000 sf but it was place to start for us.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline afacini

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 01:11:56 PM »
I don't mean to sound dickish - so please don't take this the wrong way. But if you still haven't learned to brew all grain yet I feel the compulsion to dissuade you from even considering opening a brewery. There is so much to learn to make a good beer on a large scale and even though extract brewing is a feasible approach it is way more expensive to pull off. Give it a few years before you start making any serious plans. There are way too many breweries starting up now that the dream of opening a brewery is in front of actually learning the brewing process, and in todays tight market that is a sure sign of failure.

Likewise, I don't want to sound dickish, but there is a very thick layer of nay-saying that goes along with wanting to brew professionally. And I'm very, very fed up of running into it at every level. This isn't a blast to your message - not in the least. I understand why you're trying to caution me. This is a vent about my experiences in the past year or so.

Brewing schools are backed-up many years out or are prohibitively expensive. Local breweries aren't interested in even unpaid interns who have a homebrewing-only background (and certainly not outside standard business hours). Funding is non-existent for new businesses in general, let alone startups with the high-risk element and steep startup costs of breweries.

And of course, the cycle: if you don't have the education, you won't get work in a brewery, and if you don't have work in a brewery, who's going to fund you?

The best shot I've got is to brew my ass off as much as I can afford to, refining the same recipes over and over, learning everything I can along the way. In the meanwhile, I am trying to organize a lot of complex information and prepare an ironclad business plan. These things likely take years.

In the US, folks don't get into craft beer (and brewing) until their 20s, which is a hell of a late time to become involved in something with earnest intentions to become a professional. With all the roadblocks -- many of which I admit are products of our economy, the current craft beer explosion, and perhaps even where I'm located geographically -- it's almost too much to even dream about going pro.

But, from where I sit, "f##k that." I'm working a desk job (which I should be thankful I have, even) but it's a classic go-nowhere situation. I have no savings nor a rich benefactor - only a passion for brewing, and however far my hard work and planning will take me. I'm serious about this, but realistic at the same time.

So, with feeling, a large disclaimer to attach to all of my question posts, talks with BA reps, and conversations with industry:
  • I know I need more brewing experience. Schools aren't going to be possible for me.
  • I know the field is hyper-competitive. But Boston is severely lacking in city-produced beer.
  • I am 24. I'm not interested in waiting until I'm in my 30s with children to try such a risky venture. I could be the best brewer in the city, but there's never a guarantee of success.
  • I believe in my abilities to manage the details of a business like this. I have the perspective, however, to ask for help where I need it, and to delegate roles to those better than I when possible.
  • If I look back in 20 years, I don't want to regret not putting my all behind something. I'm not getting it at my desk job, and I want to give this a serious run. I am not going to be intimidated by the things I don't have / don't know, and I'm not going to lazily coast through this point in my life.

Now, just to be sure, I really appreciate your time here on the forums, and your concern about my brewing experience. This isn't a blast-back to you, it's a general vent about what I've run into. (Granted, it may have been more appropriate for a PM, since this was a thread about timeline expectations.) It's also my raison for being here. I've never properly explained myself, mostly because: 1) see the nay-sayings above, and 2) not wanting to go on and on about myself needlessly.

Phew. That was longer than expected. I hope it doesn't come off too angry, it's just frustration. I'm sure I'm not the only one to experience the many rude dismissals from industry personnel (equipment manufacturers and real estate folks, especially). It's almost too much to bear sometimes.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 01:13:43 PM by afacini »

Offline narvin

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1232
  • Baltimore
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 02:01:35 PM »

Phew. That was longer than expected. I hope it doesn't come off too angry, it's just frustration. I'm sure I'm not the only one to experience the many rude dismissals from industry personnel (equipment manufacturers and real estate folks, especially). It's almost too much to bear sometimes.

I think it's not necessarily meant to be rude.  Just take into account that these people are also doing their jobs, and if you don't have any money they're not going to be terribly interested in spending their time on you.  Come back with some investors and things will change.
Please do not reply if your an evil alien!
Thanks
Chris S.

Offline afacini

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 02:20:44 PM »

Phew. That was longer than expected. I hope it doesn't come off too angry, it's just frustration. I'm sure I'm not the only one to experience the many rude dismissals from industry personnel (equipment manufacturers and real estate folks, especially). It's almost too much to bear sometimes.

I think it's not necessarily meant to be rude.  Just take into account that these people are also doing their jobs, and if you don't have any money they're not going to be terribly interested in spending their time on you.  Come back with some investors and things will change.

True enough. I try to be apologetic and prompt with people whose time I'm taking up with estimate-gathering, etc. It's one thing, however, to be understandably busy and unwilling to talk at-length. It's another to be summarily dismissive and to add passing insults.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 02:28:17 PM by afacini »

Offline toddster

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: "The Grand Timeline"
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2012, 04:14:27 PM »
I own a business and whenever I post an ad I get a few responses that they will work for me but have no experience.  Which means they have no skills and they expect me to provide the training.
My question to you is what skills do you have that makes you qualified to work at a brewery. Drinking beer isn't a qualification.
What skills do you have? Did you go to college or trade school. Do you really want a blue collar job that is hard work? Brewing is a small part of owning a brewery.
Maybe you change your approach and quit whining about why you can't get a job in a brewery as a brewer. I would put my name on the list at one of the brewing schools and get a degree in subject that is a good fit for a brewer.
Your only 24 and I hired kid your age last year and he couldn't keep up with one of my 36 hour days I get to do on occasion and I had to send him home to sleep while I finished up the job. Brewing like any other blue collar job is hard physical work.
I will be opening a brewery one day but I doubt I will be the brewer, there will be many other thinks like cleaning, welding, remodeling and repairing things that my life long resume will be better suited for.  Todd