Author Topic: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?  (Read 6859 times)

Offline bbump22

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2010, 03:21:58 PM »
Yeah, the risk is pretty big. You need to have at least several thousand dollars you don't mind pissing away. Not a big question mark there; most people are not going to risk actual capital to turn a hobby into a career. I could have invested this money into a different business with much greater chance of success and much less risk. But, damnit - I want to brew beer! :)

im with you keith, if im going to spend time, money, and effort on running a business, I am going to put everything I got into something I am already passionate about, brewing in my case.  It will make all the time, money and effort worth it.  Even if the brewery only stays in business, say 3 years, those would still be considered the best 3 years of my career...im very greatful for all the successful breweries out there who took the risk, put the money in, and managed their way through the laws and regulations.  Craft Breweries are still popping up all over the country and I hope they continue to do so for years!!!

All this talk is making me thirsty!

mmmm....beer

Offline sienabrewer

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2010, 04:31:35 PM »
.im very greatful for all the successful breweries out there who took the risk, put the money in, and managed their way through the laws and regulations.  Craft Breweries are still popping up all over the country and I hope they continue to do so for years!!!

That's the second point I wanted to make, but left it out.  People are opening up craft breweries/brewpubs...and they are succeeding.  Sure some are closing, but we have no idea why and that is just natural in economics.  Every time I start turning away from my idea of starting a pub it's usually because I think about the risk.  However, I am a firm believer that success, especially in the brewing industry, is about the proper planning and constant perseverance.  You have to remember that it is always a business first, hobby second.  But, when you're business is your hobby it can be more rewarding.  Some people have the perspective that turning a hobby into a career is the worst decision ever.  For some people that is probably true and a very valid statement.  However, I would love to see a survey done (hint, hint AHA) of brewers who went from homebrewers to pros (most likely near 100%) and either love or hate it, or who would either do it again or never do it again.  I have to admit, I envy you Major.  You're living the dream and are either going to succeed or fail, but regardless you have the balls to do it and will never have to ask yourself...what would of happened if I did go ahead with those plans?

Offline kgs

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2010, 05:40:34 AM »
I have a demanding day job I really enjoy, a family I love, and I also have a side avocation (writing) that is fairly exacting and sometimes disappointing. Homebrewing is a hobby/craft/art-form that allows me some room for failure without huge disappointment, camaraderie with other homebrewers at all skill levels, and the zen-like relaxation of the occasional "brew day." I think I almost get more out of planning the brew day than the experience itself... endless tinkering with recipes, mulling over ingredients, etc. It's a nice escape.

Kudos to those who want to move into brewing as a business... I like knowing I can pour out a bad batch and sleep well that night.
K.G. Schneider
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Offline thirsty

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2010, 07:56:37 AM »
Just let us know when you're up and running so we can buy some beer.

Offline bluesman

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2010, 08:11:18 PM »
The bottom line is "big risks for big rewards" and that is the hope.
Ron Price

Offline majorvices

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2010, 06:05:21 AM »
I'd be happy for just little rewards as long as it gave me enough money to eat (and drink!)

One thing to consider, though, that I meant to bring up but forgot. Any beer consumed off the premises you have to pay taxes on. So, when you go pro, it won't be like you can just bring a keg home. You will have to pay Uncle Sam for your beer. I am hoping to have the energy to continue homebrewing. I don't like the idea of having to pay taxes on my personal beer.
Keith Y.

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Offline maxieboy

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2010, 06:22:56 AM »
I'd be happy for just little rewards as long as it gave me enough money to eat (and drink!)

 Any beer consumed off the premises you have to pay taxes on. So, when you go pro, it won't be like you can just bring a keg home. You will have to pay Uncle Sam for your beer. I don't like the idea of having to pay taxes on my personal beer.

What Uncle Sam doesn't know won't hurt him...I say take home all the beer you want.
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Offline denny

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2010, 08:46:59 AM »
What Uncle Sam doesn't know won't hurt him...I say take home all the beer you want.

I doubt anybody would want to risk their licensing for a free keg of beer.
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Offline euge

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2010, 01:15:43 PM »
What Uncle Sam doesn't know won't hurt him...I say take home all the beer you want.

I doubt anybody would want to risk their licensing for a free keg of beer.

There'd be plenty to drink at work. I suspect growlers would go home though ;) from time to time...
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2010, 03:00:06 PM »
I doubt anybody would want to risk their licensing for a free keg of beer.

We're talking about $7 a barrel too. Not exactly going to break the bank.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2010, 04:56:04 PM »
I doubt anybody would want to risk their licensing for a free keg of beer.

We're talking about $7 a barrel too. Not exactly going to break the bank.

Agree. It's just the principle of the thing for me. I'd rather sneak the grain, yeast and hops out of the facility and brew rogue. Plus, here homebrewing is still illegal. Feels good to be a gangsta! 8)
Keith Y.

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Offline sienabrewer

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2010, 08:01:46 AM »
I doubt anybody would want to risk their licensing for a free keg of beer.

We're talking about $7 a barrel too. Not exactly going to break the bank.

Yeah, but $7 per barrel can add up when you consider the smallest system is usually 7 barrels and you have pn average at least 5 different beers. 

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2010, 11:26:29 AM »
Yeah, but $7 per barrel can add up when you consider the smallest system is usually 7 barrels and you have pn average at least 5 different beers.

It's a big expense for the brewery, to be sure. (Which is why you should tell your representative to support HR 4278.) But I can't imagine most owner(s) taking home even 7 barrels a *year*. It's a pretty trivial amount of money for an individual to pay.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
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Offline dougdever

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2010, 10:24:01 AM »
Why not pursue a dream?  I think this line says it best: "Debt kills small breweries." 
http://www.soundbrew.com/projectnotes.html

If I had an extra $500,000 just sitting around, I'd be more than happy to pursue the dream.  That is sort of the problem with this industry... You can't just open a storefront and start making and selling small widgets.  There is significant capital required to acquire property, purchase a brewhouse, a mind bending amount of red-tape (although with the explosion of craft brewing, most state agencies are really good about getting you pointed in the correct direction and walking you through the process - unlike say 10-15 years ago when the people working there didn't know the process either), and you will be operating at a loss until you can build a distribution channel.  So, if you were leveraged with $450,000 of debt at 8% on a 10 year commercial business loan, you're looking at something like over $5400 in debt service each month.  If you are serious about doing this, you have to ask yourself, how long can you sustain that and draw a salary for yourself until you start turning a profit? 

So on a 15 bbl system, you're brewing about 35 kegs at a time.  Assuming you can sell those out regularly, you have a new problem: your choke point - how many fermentation vessels do you have and how long your beer is going to sit in them.  Should you have spent the money for a 30bbl system initially instead - instead of going through the whole capital improvement process again to upgrade your brewhouse.

Anyways... I might be rambling a bit - but you get the idea... lots of things to think about and a lot of risk. 

Offline denny

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Re: From Hobby to Career...Why not pursue a dream?
« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2010, 10:56:03 AM »
Doug, that's a great, thoughtful analysis!  Thanks for chiming in and I'll bookmark your site for future reference.
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