Author Topic: So you want to be a brewer  (Read 14714 times)

Offline thirsty

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2013, 09:21:53 PM »
People always say,"good beer! You should open a brewery!"

Yeah, I've gotten that a few times. My response is something like "thanks, but I don't want to borrow 50-100k from anyone to open a brewery."

Offline majorvices

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2013, 04:48:56 AM »
People always say,"good beer! You should open a brewery!"

Yeah, I've gotten that a few times. My response is something like "thanks, but I don't want to borrow 50-100k from anyone to open a brewery."

Tryy 500-1000k and you will be way closer to the mark. You need at least 250k to really even consider making enough beer to kinda even think about paying anyone even min. wage.
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Offline denny

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2013, 08:30:16 AM »
I'd go with the winning the lottery and opening a brewery option.

A guy around here did that maybe 15 years ago.  Within a few years, both the money and the brewery were gone.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2013, 10:07:02 AM »
I know this guy speaks some truth, but he also sounds seriously jaded.  I like this comment left by one of the readers:

I hope this article doesn’t leave every aspiring professional brewer leave them as jaded as the author. Consider his point of view – he has brewed at White Birch and now Henniker (as far as I know). White Birch makes sub-par and often flawed beer. Henniker is a production facility that makes uninspired grocery store beer – anyone up for a dusty IPA? I would write as negative of an article if I were wearing his rubber boots.

Think of Richard Norgrove of Bear Republic. He invites homebrewers to his brewery to give him inspiration. Think of Tony Magee of Lagunitas who was a home brewer and still has major impact on all the recipes created with his brand. Think of Sam Caglione who is a spokesperson for SABCO. The list goes on….

Brewing is hard work. Anyone who has mashed, boiled, fermented, and packaged knows that. Anyone with the intuition to use google knows brewers and cellarman make a minimal amount of money. I’m just wondering why in an industry that demands innovation and passion why anyone would write an article like this…
Matt Schwandt | Minneapolis, MN
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Offline majorvices

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2013, 12:31:34 PM »
I think if people really want to be involved in the industry, they should be involved, but they should go in with their eyes open. I knew what I was getting into when I started Yellowhammer. I knew there was a high chance that the brewery would fail and I knew that it would be quite some time before it would become profitable, if at all. I knew it was going to be hard as work. I knew that in the summer it would be hot as hell.

Problem is, a lot of people don't know those things. They see the brewery from the tasting room side and it looks so awesome they think it must be a dream job.

As a general rule I try to dissuade people from getting into the industry. Especially people who say "I'm going to open a brewery!" because they think they will make lots of money. I know a lot of brewery owners and none of them are rich and all of them made more money before they quit their day job. I make less money now than my first job out of college in 1991, and I work more hours!

I have a 23 year old kid working for me now who wants to open a brewery someday. He wanted to come by to just watch for a day and by the end of the day he was working and hired. I explained to him before the first day that it wasn't probably what he thought it was going to be and that it was hard as hell work. But I really thinks he loves the job, so there are some people out there that are just meant to be brewers. I like to think I one of them, too. :)
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2013, 01:20:43 PM »
At a wedding reception I talked to a guy who is going pro. He has been brewing dice Christmas, on a Mr. Beer system. He has made four batches, all awesome. 8)
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2013, 01:28:43 PM »
Dang, got what it takes. He will knock it out the park.

Offline anthony

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2013, 07:37:39 PM »
The days I am brewing are the days I am happiest. All the CIP, transferring, carbonating, keg-filling, sample-glass washing, scheduling, opening/closing, growler filling, etc. are all the things that wear me down.

Nothing compares to the feeling of eyeing that hydrometer and making a note of the starting gravity before I pitch some yeast. Serious anticipation, pride, and a feeling of a job well done. Then coming in 8 hours later to a serious gurgle in the air-lock bucket is just icing on the cake.

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2013, 06:33:40 AM »
As a general rule I try to dissuade people from getting into the industry. Especially people who say "I'm going to open a brewery!" because they think they will make lots of money. I know a lot of brewery owners and none of them are rich and all of them made more money before they quit their day job. I make less money now than my first job out of college in 1991, and I work more hours!

Oh, I totally agree.  I was in my LHBS a few months ago, and one of the sales people I know there had just been helping out this customer who was buying his first kit.  This guy had never brewed beer before in his life.  After the guy paid for his kit and left, the sales rep said to me: "that guy scared me!"  I asked why, and he said, "he says he's going to open a brewery."   :o
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Offline boulderbrewer

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2013, 06:38:09 AM »
Yep, looking over from the tap house side, it is a great job. Nobody realizes at 7 pm that you have been there before 7am. I would not give it up for anything.
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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2013, 08:39:19 AM »
The days I am brewing are the days I am happiest. All the CIP, transferring, carbonating, keg-filling, sample-glass washing, scheduling, opening/closing, growler filling, etc. are all the things that wear me down.

Nothing compares to the feeling of eyeing that hydrometer and making a note of the starting gravity before I pitch some yeast. Serious anticipation, pride, and a feeling of a job well done. Then coming in 8 hours later to a serious gurgle in the air-lock bucket is just icing on the cake.

I'm with you. I love brewing. Don't care for much of the other stuff. Luckily I have employees that now clean all kegs (I haven't cleaned a keg in months) and also employees that take care of all tasting room duties. Still wash dishes from time to time, but only to "lead by example", as they say. Wish I had the hassle of filling growlers.
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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2013, 08:45:53 AM »
As a general rule I try to dissuade people from getting into the industry. Especially people who say "I'm going to open a brewery!" because they think they will make lots of money. I know a lot of brewery owners and none of them are rich and all of them made more money before they quit their day job. I make less money now than my first job out of college in 1991, and I work more hours!

Oh, I totally agree.  I was in my LHBS a few months ago, and one of the sales people I know there had just been helping out this customer who was buying his first kit.  This guy had never brewed beer before in his life.  After the guy paid for his kit and left, the sales rep said to me: "that guy scared me!"  I asked why, and he said, "he says he's going to open a brewery."   :o

The worse beer in the industry is from people who had the idea to start a brewery before they learned to brew. And it's epidemic. And it really hurts the craft as a whole.
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Offline boulderbrewer

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2013, 08:55:47 AM »
I'm with you. I love brewing. Don't care for much of the other stuff. Luckily I have employees that now clean all kegs (I haven't cleaned a keg in months) and also employees that take care of all tasting room duties. Still wash dishes from time to time, but only to "lead by example", as they say. Wish I had the hassle of filling growlers.

After about a thousand the charm of growlers wears off.
Tribute Brewing

Offline bluesman

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #28 on: July 15, 2013, 09:37:35 AM »

As a general rule I try to dissuade people from getting into the industry. Especially people who say "I'm going to open a brewery!" because they think they will make lots of money. I know a lot of brewery owners and none of them are rich and all of them made more money before they quit their day job. I make less money now than my first job out of college in 1991, and I work more hours!

I have a 23 year old kid working for me now who wants to open a brewery someday. He wanted to come by to just watch for a day and by the end of the day he was working and hired. I explained to him before the first day that it wasn't probably what he thought it was going to be and that it was hard as hell work. But I really thinks he loves the job, so there are some people out there that are just meant to be brewers. I like to think I one of them, too. :)

Agreed.

Business is tough...and risky. I established a home inspection business that did well. I've recently dissolved that business to start a brewery. Starting a business is no easy endeavor. It takes guts, and passion, not to mention lots of hard work. For me, it really boils down to one thing, and that is self satisfaction. Working for someone else is a lot less work (in many cases), but building a business of your own is much more gratifying in the end. It's definitely a passion, a desire and a LABOR of love.
Ron Price

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Re: So you want to be a brewer
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2013, 09:47:21 AM »
I'm with you. I love brewing. Don't care for much of the other stuff. Luckily I have employees that now clean all kegs (I haven't cleaned a keg in months) and also employees that take care of all tasting room duties. Still wash dishes from time to time, but only to "lead by example", as they say. Wish I had the hassle of filling growlers.

After about a thousand the charm of growlers wears off.

I'm sure. But I could use the $$$$. Plus, I'd pay someone to do it. ;)
Keith Y.
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