Author Topic: realistically, what does it take?  (Read 3913 times)

Offline phunhog

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2012, 10:27:39 PM »
Absolutely not!! I can't legally sell beer, the beer was given away.  At the beer festival though I did sell brewery t-shirts. The sales of the shirts covered all my beer costs, paid for my jockey box, and I think we had 50 bucks left over. Again....certainly not making any real money.

Offline boulderbrewer

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2012, 10:54:01 PM »
I have "given" beer for 6 years at beer fests, Now I consider it as market research. Look for a local homebrew club. That is the first place I would start for the local market info.
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Offline alaingomez

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2012, 12:47:23 AM »
Absolutely not!! I can't legally sell beer, the beer was given away.  At the beer festival though I did sell brewery t-shirts. The sales of the shirts covered all my beer costs, paid for my jockey box, and I think we had 50 bucks left over. Again....certainly not making any real money.

That's a great idea!  I'm the same as you, actually.  It would just be really fun to share my beer with people.  Have you tried making/selling glassware? 

Offline alaingomez

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2012, 12:51:11 AM »
I have "given" beer for 6 years at beer fests, Now I consider it as market research. Look for a local homebrew club. That is the first place I would start for the local market info.

I'll check that out.  I know there's a plethora around San Diego.  I'll ask the guys at the homebrew supply stores.  We're like beer country here.  Unlike Santa Barbara and their posh wine  :P

Offline phunhog

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2012, 06:57:03 AM »


That's a great idea!  I'm the same as you, actually.  It would just be really fun to share my beer with people.  Have you tried making/selling glassware?
[/quote]

Yes!! A friends daughter hand etched a couple dozen glasses with a close resemblance of my logo. People loved them because they obviously weren't mass produced and no two were exactly alike.

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realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2012, 07:11:02 AM »
I own a 10 bbl brewery (www.yellowhammerbrewery.com) and what it takes is a lot of time and money. Architecs, lawyers, graphoc designers, blood sweat and tears. And kegs. YUou need a lot of those.

It can certainly be done and it can be done on a budget but to really make anything worthwhile you are going to need to spend over 100K, and reality much mroe than that. The point of opening a brewery is to open a sucessful business. You establish a brand and produce a product that people consume. It's hell of a lot of work, but it is also awesome and has great rewards.

As far as "selling a few kegs", aside from the legality issues and license expense (I think we pay the ABC $1000 per year for the priviledge to sell beer) my only question is .... why? You will not ever be monetarilly compensated on a 10 gallon system and in the end if you are brewing for 6-8 hours to sell a couple kegs you will basically be paying to sell your own beer. Doesn;t make sense to me one bit. If it is just about the gratification of people enjoying your beer you can do that far easier on the homebrew level.

 
+1..!!!!
As someone who seriously wanted to go the nano route I am so glad to hear people with some experience give advice like this!  The real reason I wanted to open a brewery is for the personal satisfaction of people enjoying my beer.  You are right it IS far easier to do on the homebrew level and with a lot less headaches.
Obviously I can't sell my beer....but that doesn't mean I don't have a brewery!!  We have a website, FB page, sell t-shirts and stickers, pour at beer festivals and private events, etc....I often wonder how many people think we are a commercial brewery ;D  In fact somebody the other day said it is an "underground brewery" which is cool...though I was quick to point out that we don't sell our beer.  We get everything out of it that a nanobrewery would ( personal satisfaction, name recognition, etc...) but without all or most of the headaches ( fees/permits, licensing/zoning, negative cashflow, expectations).

Ok this really intrigues me!  I thought you had to be a "beer company" in order to pour at beer festivals.  Is it possible to sell your beer at a festival?

It's gonna depend on the laws of your state. Some can. Some can't.
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Offline nateo

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2012, 07:40:06 AM »
Owning a business sucks. Be sure to include your opportunity cost in any analysis you do. Do you like spending time with friends or family? Do you like to do anything besides work? If you'd value your leisure time at anything over about $0.10/hour you'd likely come out in the red if you own your own business.
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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2012, 08:38:05 AM »
Owning a business sucks. Be sure to include your opportunity cost in any analysis you do. Do you like spending time with friends or family? Do you like to do anything besides work? If you'd value your leisure time at anything over about $0.10/hour you'd likely come out in the red if you own your own business.

That was exactly the point I came to after owning my own business for close to 30 years.  For the first few years, it was exciting and the work was fun.  After about 10 years, it became just a job I went to every day.
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Offline violaleebrews

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2012, 09:39:18 AM »
god bless the sage nuggets of wisdom people post here.  i've been half-heartedly doing some research into starting something up and it's daunting - to say the least.  deadends and almost every path i take.  i won't be too disappointed if nothing ever materializes from my research, but i do know that people go pro all the time.  and for those people, i have a great respect.  much perserverence, research and money is needed to take it pro.  so far the best thing to do (from what i've read) is work for someone else for a few years to learn the ropes.

Offline phunhog

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2012, 09:52:46 AM »
I own a 10 bbl brewery (www.yellowhammerbrewery.com) and what it takes is a lot of time and money. Architecs, lawyers, graphoc designers, blood sweat and tears. And kegs. YUou need a lot of those.

It can certainly be done and it can be done on a budget but to really make anything worthwhile you are going to need to spend over 100K, and reality much mroe than that. The point of opening a brewery is to open a sucessful business. You establish a brand and produce a product that people consume. It's hell of a lot of work, but it is also awesome and has great rewards.

As far as "selling a few kegs", aside from the legality issues and license expense (I think we pay the ABC $1000 per year for the priviledge to sell beer) my only question is .... why? You will not ever be monetarilly compensated on a 10 gallon system and in the end if you are brewing for 6-8 hours to sell a couple kegs you will basically be paying to sell your own beer. Doesn;t make sense to me one bit. If it is just about the gratification of people enjoying your beer you can do that far easier on the homebrew level.

 
+1..!!!!
As someone who seriously wanted to go the nano route I am so glad to hear people with some experience give advice like this!  The real reason I wanted to open a brewery is for the personal satisfaction of people enjoying my beer.  You are right it IS far easier to do on the homebrew level and with a lot less headaches.
Obviously I can't sell my beer....but that doesn't mean I don't have a brewery!!  We have a website, FB page, sell t-shirts and stickers, pour at beer festivals and private events, etc....I often wonder how many people think we are a commercial brewery ;D  In fact somebody the other day said it is an "underground brewery" which is cool...though I was quick to point out that we don't sell our beer.  We get everything out of it that a nanobrewery would ( personal satisfaction, name recognition, etc...) but without all or most of the headaches ( fees/permits, licensing/zoning, negative cashflow, expectations).

Ok this really intrigues me!  I thought you had to be a "beer company" in order to pour at beer festivals.  Is it possible to sell your beer at a festival?

It's gonna depend on the laws of your state. Some can. Some can't.
Sadly it's also on who "interpets" the laws of your state.  I know some brewers/clubs have done so without any problems. Other brewers/clubs in the same state have asked the ABC and have been told no.  As a homebrewer I think this is a case of "it's better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission". 

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2012, 09:55:55 AM »
It's gonna depend on the laws of your state. Some can. Some can't.

And on the festival. Some require the breweries to carry their own liability insurance.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2012, 10:26:54 AM »
As a homebrewer I think this is a case of "it's better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission".

I guess as a home brewer you can get away with that (though I would have ethical issues), but if you're going pro the only thing worse than an alcohol-related conviction on your record is a tax-related conviction.
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Offline phunhog

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2012, 10:51:14 AM »
As a homebrewer I think this is a case of "it's better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission".

I guess as a home brewer you can get away with that (though I would have ethical issues), but if you're going pro the only thing worse than an alcohol-related conviction on your record is a tax-related conviction.

Well I know in my case the law is a bit of a gray area. http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/government-affairs/statutes/california
Homebrew can be removed for competition and the festival that I poured at has a Best Beer and People's Choice competition.   My HBC has poured at the festival since it began.

Offline alaingomez

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2012, 12:43:56 PM »
Quote
Sadly it's also on who "interpets" the laws of your state.  I know some brewers/clubs have done so without any problems. Other brewers/clubs in the same state have asked the ABC and have been told no.  As a homebrewer I think this is a case of "it's better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission".

Are you referring to selling beer at festivals or just giving it away?

Offline anthony

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2012, 12:49:16 PM »
Quote
Sadly it's also on who "interpets" the laws of your state.  I know some brewers/clubs have done so without any problems. Other brewers/clubs in the same state have asked the ABC and have been told no.  As a homebrewer I think this is a case of "it's better to beg forgiveness, than ask permission".

Are you referring to selling beer at festivals or just giving it away?

Both. For instance, this just came down the pipe in Illinois: http://goo.gl/Bb5xU