Author Topic: Home Brew Supply Startup  (Read 5022 times)

Offline Gordonwerks

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Home Brew Supply Startup
« on: June 24, 2013, 11:17:15 AM »
After home brewing for a couple of years, I thought about starting my own 7bbl micro. Then, after a few months of researching, I found that with no real experience in the brewing industry, it was going to be way harder than I thought. In essence, due to my age and lack of education and experience in some related field, I would be hiring out ALL of the needed positions of the business to others to run. What would I be for other than the financing?

So, wanting to do something in the Home Brew industry, I think I want to open a Home Brew Supply and help others in my community to experience the joy and satisfaction of a brew made by there own hands. Possibly supplies for wine and cheese making as well.

I have done a lot of research and demographics in my area and found that it should be a good one. Only one other supplier within a 40 mile radius.

The point of the post is to get ideas on how to best put together a strong inventory. Location, building,  suppliers, POS system, marketing can all be handled with normal business strategies. However, putting together the inventory list seems to elude me.

Do offer to pay another HBS shop for access to their inventory? Or do I piece part it together?

Pappy

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 01:36:19 PM »
Contact the wholesalers for pricing lists on products.
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Offline phunhog

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 09:29:13 PM »
Honestly I would comb through some of the larger homebrewing catalogs (MoreBeer, Northern Brewer, etc) and work off of that  It will give you a good idea of what to carry and how to price them to be competitive.  I was a little shocked to see that my LHBS actually orders quite a bit direct from MoreBeer! Makes sense though...most of it are specialty items that they need very limited quantities of....things like stir bar magnets and odd size stoppers. You can order a very small amount and still get free shipping from MoreBeer. The important thing though is that your customer will end up buying from you, since you have it in stock!! Something else that my LHBS did is put a white board up so customers can write down what they want in "their" LHBS. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 04:47:14 AM »
My lhbs is in The Dalles Oregon. I like them because I can send him an email of everything I want and he replies within a couple hours. He will have the order ready for will call within a week. Probably much sooner if I asked, but I give him a week. I do this because it's the same timeframe as ordering online, prices the same or less, and I want to keep him open.

If I had a store I would set up a homebrewry and give demos and lessons and let upstarts use it.

Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 05:32:19 AM »
I bet several of the larger shops sell wholesale (like MoreBeer mentioned above) to LHBS's and if so they'll offer significant discounts once they know you're a retailer. I'd call and ask. It's a great place to start since they pretty much already have your inventory list. My impression is that LHBS focus more on ingredients and small items/basic equipment and much less on big items, but that depends on your market.
 
One other shop within 40 miles sounds jam packed to me, but it depends on the area. You should look at their business and figure out how you'll differenciate your business from theirs.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 05:43:06 AM »
Yup! You'll need a gimmick or hook.
One of my favorite shops has an attached pub with several crafts on tap and a huge selection of bottles. Stuff you can't find at a grocery store. Another lhbs less than ten miles from it has a huge room of equipment to brew on.

I still think you will be just buying a job though. It would have to be an obsession!

Online theDarkSide

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 06:15:38 AM »
I bet several of the larger shops sell wholesale (like MoreBeer mentioned above) to LHBS's

Morebeer has their wholesale subsidiary, Fermentap that sells to LHBS.  Maybe a call to them would help.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 08:01:05 PM »
LD Carlson, Cosby & Baker, BrewCraft are just a few wholesalers.
I would recommend to make kits on your own, I never like the "Brewers Best" stuff anyway.

You might have to substitute your LHBS with another venture if you are in the smaller populated area.
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Offline majorvices

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Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 05:47:37 AM »
If you can combine a homebrew shop and a nice package store selling a variety of beer you can make a lot of money. Some of these locally are doing very well being both and even have draft to go and a sampling bar. Assuming its legal in your state, of course.
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Offline anthony

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 06:56:45 AM »
I agree with this ^

Sometimes I stand in our taproom and I feel like I can literally see everything in terms of pint sales and growler fills. I can't imagine standing in a homebrew store and seeing everything in terms of grain sales. The margins on that stuff aren't great.

Offline majorvices

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Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 07:24:52 AM »
You also appeal to a much broader market.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 11:49:23 AM »
If you can combine a homebrew shop and a nice package store selling a variety of beer you can make a lot of money. Some of these locally are doing very well being both and even have draft to go and a sampling bar. Assuming its legal in your state, of course.
I would love to do this! I don't think I'd be adequate on the business side of things though...
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Offline factory

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 12:00:55 PM »
LD Carlson, Cosby & Baker, BrewCraft are just a few wholesalers.
I would recommend to make kits on your own, I never like the "Brewers Best" stuff anyway.

You might have to substitute your LHBS with another venture if you are in the smaller populated area.

+1 This was one of the first things that came to mind when I read this post.  My LHBS does this, only for extract kits though.  I suggested that they have duplicate all-grain options.

As far as equipment to carry, --I'm sure you've thought of this-- but bundled equipment kits from beginner kits to advanced (to include boil kettle) would be nice.

One thing to consider is inventory carrying costs.  The more stuff you have on hand will increase your cash conversion cycle. So, if you have an opportunity to interact with a local club or two in your area, you could do a "Voice of the Customer" type survey to see what their primary list of wants and desires would be.  You would have to strike a balance between gaining new recruits (beginner equipment kits) intermediate brewers (extract and all-grain supplies) and experts (Blichmann-like products).
 

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2013, 12:35:15 PM »
If you can combine a homebrew shop and a nice package store selling a variety of beer you can make a lot of money. Some of these locally are doing very well being both and even have draft to go and a sampling bar. Assuming its legal in your state, of course.
I would love to do this! I don't think I'd be adequate on the business side of things though...

When I started brewing back in the day, there was a place that did this.  Alas, they no longer do and have not for over 10 years or so.  They still have an awesome bottle selection, though, and they're right around the corner from my mother-in-law's place.
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Offline Gordonwerks

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Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 01:01:25 PM »
Thanks for all the input. My vision is: Home Brew Supplies including DME/Grain kits and All grain kits. Wine and cheese making supplies and lessons for beginners in all three disciplines. Growler bar with 10 to 20 local-ish brands on tap and craft beer in bottles from all over. In the right spot I believe it will be a hit.
Pappy