Author Topic: Need some input  (Read 1409 times)

Offline DrewG

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 359
  • Thread Killer
    • View Profile
Need some input
« on: April 11, 2013, 09:37:18 AM »
I have been given an opportunity to talk with some folks who are opening a brewery about making beer for them. This was set up through a mutual friend. I'm bringing 6 different beers for them to try. The plan is to sit down and see if there is a mutual interest in me brewing for them, and moving on from there. In the meantime, I've been volunteering at a local brewery trying to learn as much as I can about operating on a professional system. The brewers there have been absolutely great, answering anything I ask and a lot I haven't. A huge learning experience.

So I'm wondering, if you were in my shoes what questions would you have for these folks? What else can I do to prepare myself for this job if it is something I/we want to pursue? What advice in general might you have for an aspiring professional?

Thanks in advance for your time.
"Well, the Mexicans got a saying - what cannot be remedied must be endured."

-Barbarosa

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6300
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Need some input
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 11:19:49 AM »
Be sure you don't sell yourself short on compensation. I went in with 3 other partners. We all invested the same amount of money but I invested substantially more time than all three if them combined X 10. If I did it over again I would have insisted that I either got a larger percentage of the company or guaranteed compensation down the line.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline DrewG

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 359
  • Thread Killer
    • View Profile
Re: Need some input
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 11:23:38 AM »
Thanks. What do you think (ballpark) the salary range should be for the job? It sounds like it's going to be a brewpub, as well as supplying beer for 2 other taprooms/restaurants they own. 
"Well, the Mexicans got a saying - what cannot be remedied must be endured."

-Barbarosa

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6300
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Need some input
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 03:26:58 PM »
I think for an experienced brewer 35k - 40k would be ok to start. Hope to make that much myself eventually. ;)

I'd look to getting some form of partnership and a contract, too.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Need some input
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2013, 08:43:40 PM »
Many small businesses fail after a short time. I'd want to see their financial info, to make sure you won't be unemployed in 6 months. I can help you make sense of it if it's all Greek to you.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Need some input
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 01:39:25 AM »
Some more basic questions . . .

Who decides what kinds of beers should be one tap?
Who decides on the recipes?
Who decides what is an appropriate amount of money to spend on a batch of beer?
Do you get a budget to spend as you see fit, or does everything have to run through someone else?
If you have to supply other places, what kind of cooperage will you have?
What are the explicit details of the system they will have, from brewing through packaging and serving?
What is the expected volume of beer to be served per week/month?  How many batches is that?
How many hours are they expecting you to work for the stated compensation?  Do you get overtime?

I could think of a lot more questions. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline DrewG

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 359
  • Thread Killer
    • View Profile
Re: Need some input
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 06:51:36 AM »
Quote
I think for an experienced brewer 35k - 40k would be ok to start. Hope to make that much myself eventually. ;)

I'd look to getting some form of partnership and a contract, too.

How would you define "experienced"? Also, is health insurance a realistic benefit to expect?

Quote
Many small businesses fail after a short time. I'd want to see their financial info, to make sure you won't be unemployed in 6 months. I can help you make sense of it if it's all Greek to you.

Should I ask for a copy of their business plan?

Quote
Some more basic questions . . .

Who decides what kinds of beers should be one tap?
Who decides on the recipes?
Who decides what is an appropriate amount of money to spend on a batch of beer?
Do you get a budget to spend as you see fit, or does everything have to run through someone else?
If you have to supply other places, what kind of cooperage will you have?
What are the explicit details of the system they will have, from brewing through packaging and serving?
What is the expected volume of beer to be served per week/month?  How many batches is that?
How many hours are they expecting you to work for the stated compensation?  Do you get overtime?

I could think of a lot more questions. :)

All great questions, anything else that comes to mind, fire away

"Well, the Mexicans got a saying - what cannot be remedied must be endured."

-Barbarosa

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Need some input
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 07:06:14 AM »
Also, is health insurance a realistic benefit to expect?

Probably not, though I'm not sure how the new healthcare laws will affect that. IIRC, the laws provide tax credits for small businesses to provide healthcare, but I'm not sure when they kick in.

Quote
Should I ask for a copy of their business plan?

Definitely. It should include pro forma income statements, pro forma balance sheets. and budgets (manufacturing budgets, selling/admin budgets, overhead budgets, especially cash disbursement budgets!, it's common for "profitable" businesses to go out of business because they don't have cash when they need it).

If the business plan does not include those, ask for them specifically.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6300
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Need some input
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 12:27:52 PM »
My opinion of "experienced" is a competent brewer who has worked in a brewery for at least a year or two who I could train up on my system in a couple weeks and who already knows how to CiP tanks, clean and fill kegs, etc. At this point I would not be able to offer health care compensation but would certainly make it a priority ASAP.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Online anthony

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 234
  • Hoppy to help!
    • View Profile
Re: Need some input
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 05:38:25 PM »
Be sure you don't sell yourself short on compensation. I went in with 3 other partners. We all invested the same amount of money but I invested substantially more time than all three if them combined X 10. If I did it over again I would have insisted that I either got a larger percentage of the company or guaranteed compensation down the line.

Ditto on this. I own 1/3 of our brewery and though I get compensated, it still doesn't really compare to the other partners who also own 1/3 of the brewery but also keep their lucrative day jobs.

Offline lornemagill

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
  • Austin/Round Rock, TX
    • View Profile
Re: Need some input
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2013, 06:54:16 PM »
i am currently uninsured by choice because my benifits would be too expensive.  einsurance.com is a great option, i am just trying to determine which plan/rates/deductible i want. check it out you can get a good plan for $100/month, factor that into compensation.  i am in no rush as i am healthy and work with doctors who can take care of me when i need it.