Author Topic: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.  (Read 380 times)

Offline Kyle Winzer

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Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« on: November 03, 2019, 10:45:18 PM »
Hey,

 I am looking for a no nonsense step by step book on how to open a 5-7 BBL brewery/brewpub. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated.

Kyle

Offline Bob357

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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2019, 02:41:10 AM »
My advice: Do not do it. Saturation is high and more and more breweries are closing. You are about 5 years late.

Now this is just my opinion and I had been at it for 10 years.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2019, 11:22:53 AM »
I don't believe the market is saturated. I think that depends more on location. Take Asheville NC, over 75 breweries and climbing. Cleveland,O and NE Ohio in general is another example of multiple breweries being supported by locals and visitors.

Do your homework, put a solid business plan in place and secure site placement and financing.

Go for it now or you'll wake up one day and have major regrets!

Good Luck!!

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2019, 01:12:48 PM »
I don't believe the market is saturated. I think that depends more on location. Take Asheville NC, over 75 breweries and climbing. Cleveland,O and NE Ohio in general is another example of multiple breweries being supported by locals and visitors.

Do your homework, put a solid business plan in place and secure site placement and financing.

Go for it now or you'll wake up one day and have major regrets!

Good Luck!!

It depends on the location. Portland OR was one of the first cities with a beer culture, and is known as Beervana to some. There has been a string of closures of old school breweries like Bridgeport. Closures have increased during the last month.
https://www.beervanablog.com/beervana/2019/11/1/final-closure-in-a-terrible-week

Closures have increased in MI, there was an article by Bart Watson that mentioned MI has had 19 close, which was a big increase in closures, but 30 opened.  So the market is maturing here.

Kyle, my advice is to research it thoroughly. The book above is a start. Talk to other breweries in your region. See what is working. Find a niche. You need good beer out of the gate. Food, music, other activities to engage the public, those are needed to engage the public. Be a part of the community through charity.

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Offline Kevin

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2019, 03:32:42 PM »
Michael Tonsmeire's blog has an article on the brewery he opened a while back. This one on an aspect you may have never thought about (and may not need if all you plan is a taproom) on government label approval.... https://www.themadfermentationist.com/
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Offline duncan

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2019, 04:06:39 PM »
AHA Associate Director.

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Offline a10t2

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2019, 07:55:07 PM »
Book research is definitely important, but you can rely on local factors to outweigh any one-size-fits-all advice you may pick up. Things like zoning, real estate, construction, and licensing will introduce many more complications than the brewing side and be unique to every brewery.

The BP book mentioned is a good starting point, if lacking on the technical side. I'd also suggest the Brewery Operations Manual by Tom Hennessy for a quick overview of both the brewing and business sides, especially if you're coming straight in from home brewing and plan to do the brewing yourself.

And (obviously?) I disagree that the market is saturated. I certainly wouldn't get into the distribution market right now, but the US still doesn't have as many small breweries as pre-Prohibition, let alone per capita. If you have a few thousand people within walking distance, you have a market opportunity for a brewpub, and 97% of all brewpubs that have ever existed are still open.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 08:41:09 PM by a10t2 »
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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2019, 09:46:00 PM »
... If you have a few thousand people within walking distance, you have a market opportunity for a brewpub, and 97% of all brewpubs that have ever existed are still open.

This has always been the draw for me: the atmosphere. Wether in a German Gasthaus or Biergarten or a local brewpub — especially one with good food (or a relationship with one (or more) good food trucks).  Having a fresh pint over a conversation with a table full of friends while sitting under a chestnut (or pecan) tree or on the patio or around a fire.  Throw in some live acoustic music — regardless of style — and you’ll have a huge hit. The beer always flows better in that atmosphere IMO.


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Offline denny

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2019, 03:50:40 PM »
... If you have a few thousand people within walking distance, you have a market opportunity for a brewpub, and 97% of all brewpubs that have ever existed are still open.

This has always been the draw for me: the atmosphere. Wether in a German Gasthaus or Biergarten or a local brewpub — especially one with good food (or a relationship with one (or more) good food trucks).  Having a fresh pint over a conversation with a table full of friends while sitting under a chestnut (or pecan) tree or on the patio or around a fire.  Throw in some live acoustic music — regardless of style — and you’ll have a huge hit. The beer always flows better in that atmosphere IMO.


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That's the kind of unrealistic romantic thinking that leads to brewery closures.  I once heard a brewery owner talk about how before he opened he envisioned himself sitting at the bar, drinking with patrons who raved about his beer.  In reality, he had never had time to do that...he was in the back cleaning kegs!  A brewery is a business and the beer is just the product they sell.
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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2019, 08:28:01 PM »
Oh I don’t want to open a brewery. That’s too much work. The draw to a Gasthaus or Brewpub for me is as a patron!


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Offline denny

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2019, 09:59:31 PM »
Oh I don’t want to open a brewery. That’s too much work. The draw to a Gasthaus or Brewpub for me is as a patron!


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Got it!  I knew you were a smart guy!
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Offline Kyle Winzer

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 09:44:06 PM »
Thank you everyone for all of your input and advice. I really do appreciate it.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Need a good book on how to open a brewery.
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2019, 02:31:09 AM »
https://www.brewerspublications.com/collections/business-of-beer

I imagine the "Starting your own brewery' book under this link would be a good one though I have not read it. The "Quality Management' book is excellent. Also, while maybe slightly dated the "MBAA Handbooks for the Specialty Brewer" have lots of info in them and will bring you to the realization that, as a homebrewer, you have a lot to learn, grasshopper. ;)

I do agree that the bubble has reached capacity and opening new breweries from here on is going to be difficult. I live in the South East and even here, where the Saturation point has not been reached, we have breweries closing. But the tap room model, if the beers are good and there is a restaurant attached, is still strong in many areas. Distribution is the real bust.