Author Topic: Selling.....maybe?  (Read 4572 times)

ccarlson

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2011, 07:12:12 PM »
The best solution, if you you have the available space, is to have a small bar within the brewery and sell some good bar food to go with it. Only open at night, so it doesn't interfere with brewing, which is done during the day.

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2011, 07:27:45 PM »
The best solution, if you you have the available space, is to have a small bar within the brewery and sell some good bar food to go with it. Only open at night, so it doesn't interfere with brewing, which is done during the day.

Lets see.... get up at 5 to start brewing.....mashed in by 6, boiling by 7.30..... chilling by 9. 10 the meat and produce folks show up. By 11 you have it all unpacked and in the fridge. QUICK back to the wort, in the fermenter, pitch, by 12.30 you're done. Clean 20 or so kegs, rack a few things, next thing you know it's 3.30. Start prepping the food, get the ovens going.....5pm doors open. Feed and beer the people.....kick the last drunk out by 9.30. Clean.....

Somewhere in there is book keeping, ordering supplies, maintenance, research... (remember, brewing new recipes for fun) and a myriad of other activities. But, it will be 4.30 am before you know it.....

Sooo..... that's 10 gallons of crap in a 5 gallon fermenter.... You need HELP. An employee or three.... a gofer in the brewery, a wait person, a bookkeeper, a cook, a cleanup person......

You need to brew a LOT of beer.

Not saying you can't do it. Just saying that whenever I think about it I get really scared. I have worked in the F&B business... it is BRUTAL.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 07:29:33 PM by oscarvan »
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ccarlson

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2011, 07:32:48 PM »
The best solution, if you you have the available space, is to have a small bar within the brewery and sell some good bar food to go with it. Only open at night, so it doesn't interfere with brewing, which is done during the day.

Lets see.... get up at 5 to start brewing.....mashed in by 6, boiling by 7.30..... chilling by 9. 10 the meat and produce folks show up. By 11 you have it all unpacked and in the fridge. QUICK back to the wort, in the fermenter, pitch, by 12.30 you're done. Clean 20 or so kegs, rack a few things, next thing you know it's 3.30. Start prepping the food, get the ovens going.....5pm doors open. Feed and beer the people.....kick the last drunk out by 9.30. Clean.....

Somewhere in there is book keeping, ordering supplies, maintenance, research... (remember, brewing new recipes for fun) and a myriad of other activities. But, it will be 4.30 am before you know it.....

Sooo..... that's 10 gallons of crap in a 5 gallon fermenter.... You need HELP. An employee or three.... a gofer in the brewery, a wait person, a bookkeeper, a cook, a cleanup person......

You need to brew a LOT of beer.

Not saying you can't do it. Just saying that whenever I think about it I get really scared. I have worked in the F&B business... it is BRUTAL.

First off, I've already said I have no interest in commercial brewing and my comment is for someone that is really interested in doing it. Secondly, there are few businesses that can be operated by a single person. You can get by on your own, but to really make some money, you need hourly help. Been there, done that.

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2011, 07:34:46 PM »
The best solution, if you you have the available space, is to have a small bar within the brewery and sell some good bar food to go with it. Only open at night, so it doesn't interfere with brewing, which is done during the day.

Lets see.... get up at 5 to start brewing.....mashed in by 6, boiling by 7.30..... chilling by 9. 10 the meat and produce folks show up. By 11 you have it all unpacked and in the fridge. QUICK back to the wort, in the fermenter, pitch, by 12.30 you're done. Clean 20 or so kegs, rack a few things, next thing you know it's 3.30. Start prepping the food, get the ovens going.....5pm doors open. Feed and beer the people.....kick the last drunk out by 9.30. Clean.....

Somewhere in there is book keeping, ordering supplies, maintenance, research... (remember, brewing new recipes for fun) and a myriad of other activities. But, it will be 4.30 am before you know it.....

Sooo..... that's 10 gallons of crap in a 5 gallon fermenter.... You need HELP. An employee or three.... a gofer in the brewery, a wait person, a bookkeeper, a cook, a cleanup person......

You need to brew a LOT of beer.

Not saying you can't do it. Just saying that whenever I think about it I get really scared. I have worked in the F&B business... it is BRUTAL.

First off, I've already said I have no interest in commercial brewing and my comment is for someone that is really interested in doing it. Secondly, there are few businesses that can be operated by a single person. You can get by on your own, but to really make some money, you need hourly help. Been there, done that.

OK, so now you're looking at a business plan and a number of barrels that are needed to make it work, at a MINIMUM. What that number is, I don't know. 10? 20 a day?
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

ccarlson

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #64 on: May 24, 2011, 07:38:05 PM »
Absolutely, a business plan is a must, but that's already been discussed.

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #65 on: May 24, 2011, 07:48:55 PM »
It is a government mandated skimming operation (in addition to the government's own skimming via alcohol taxes).

To keep statements like that in context, it's important to remember that 33 states (last I checked) allow self-distribution.

OK, so now you're looking at a business plan and a number of barrels that are needed to make it work, at a MINIMUM. What that number is, I don't know. 10? 20 a day?

For a brewpub it's much less than that. Half a barrel a day will keep the doors open no problem.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #66 on: May 24, 2011, 07:52:19 PM »

so at a 20 gallon batch level you might (big maybe there) make a living if you can do that 4 or 5 times a week and nothing bad happens.

I guess that is assuming you are brewing out of your house with no overhead. Not a lot of places will let you do this. You usually need a locally zoned and approved facility.

granted, it is a massively over simplified example. and yoy could probably expect to pay nearly twice as much as I indicated with other overhead. Even at home there is propane, electricity etc.

all that being said, go for it Weaze.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 07:54:24 PM by morticaixavier »
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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #67 on: May 24, 2011, 08:05:07 PM »
My point exactly;  Brewer → consumer is the best option by far.  

True, some distributors are better than others, but if distributors aren't there to promote your product, what service do they provide to desevre such a large piece of the pie?  Storage and transportation?  There are less expensive ways to do that.  It is a government mandated skimming operation (in addition to the government's own skimming via alcohol taxes).

Having worked on all three tiers of the 3-tier system, I can tell you it sucks for the producer and the consumer.  Producers make less for their efforts. Consumers spend more for their product.  What value is added between the two?

Wholesalers have a powerful lobby to protect their position.  Witness their heavy resistance to direct shipping.

Anchor distills a very nice rye whisky.  I heard Fritz Maytag speak about his whisky and the 3-tier system at a craft distillers conference.  He made some excellent points on the matter.  I got the impression he is not a big fan of it.  The American Distilling Institute had a video of Fritz's talk up on their website.  If I can find it I'll post a link.

You get absolutely no argument from me that wholesaling to the public would make us more money. But just how many people would I be able to get to come to my little brewery to buy growlers and or pints? And what about the fact that this doesn't fit into our business plan? (Because it doesn't, long story). And what about the point that we are not able to sell directly to the public due to legality? And what about the point that some of our beer is distributed 4+ hours away from our location? Who exactly is going to deliver that beer? Me?? When would I have the time to do that? Who would I have to hire to pull pints on Friday and Saturday night at my tasting room? Am I supposed to be brewer and bar tender?

Absolutely self distribution and/or a tasting room would be great for us. Man, we could make more money if we didn't have to sell every drop to the distributor. But, in reality, we would have a distributor even if this was a possibility. Because none of us have time to transport kegs of beer to bars. And I couldn't afford a refrigerated truck.

Yeah, I know the 3 tier system is a racket. But, on the flip side, its a racket that works on some level. Certainly not all levels.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #68 on: May 24, 2011, 08:10:03 PM »
This is the link to Fritz Maytag's presentation, well worth a look - on many beverage topics:

http://www.distilling.com/video.html

scroll down it is the last video on the page

It is a Quicktime video
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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #69 on: May 24, 2011, 08:22:46 PM »
Starting to think I'm going to be bending sheet metal for quite some years to come.  :(
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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #70 on: May 24, 2011, 08:23:07 PM »

You get absolutely no argument from me that wholesaling to the public would make us more money. But just how many people would I be able to get to come to my little brewery to buy growlers and or pints? And what about the fact that this doesn't fit into our business plan? (Because it doesn't, long story). And what about the point that we are not able to sell directly to the public due to legality? And what about the point that some of our beer is distributed 4+ hours away from our location? Who exactly is going to deliver that beer? Me?? When would I have the time to do that? Who would I have to hire to pull pints on Friday and Saturday night at my tasting room? Am I supposed to be brewer and bar tender?

Absolutely self distribution and/or a tasting room would be great for us. Man, we could make more money if we didn't have to sell every drop to the distributor. But, in reality, we would have a distributor even if this was a possibility. Because none of us have time to transport kegs of beer to bars. And I couldn't afford a refrigerated truck.

Yeah, I know the 3 tier system is a racket. But, on the flip side, its a racket that works on some level. Certainly not all levels.

Excellent points - sure doesn't sound like much fun - perhaps you should consider becoming a wholesaler instead...   ;)

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Offline punatic

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #71 on: May 24, 2011, 08:25:45 PM »
Starting to think I'm going to be bending sheet metal for quite some years to come.  :(

When starting a business a lot of people will give you a lot of reasons why it won't work...
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #72 on: May 24, 2011, 08:33:51 PM »
Just seems like there has to be a way to start small, and grow from there. I'm not finished yet.
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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #73 on: May 24, 2011, 08:46:10 PM »
You can totally do it weaze, just go into it with your eyes open.  Learn everything you can and you'll figure out the path.  Get the biggest system you can afford, sell as much out the door as you can, skip the pub, and choose your location based on cost with room to grow.  With a population of ~50k nothing can be very far from anything else, right? ;)
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Re: Selling.....maybe?
« Reply #74 on: May 24, 2011, 09:12:13 PM »
When starting a business a lot of people will give you a lot of reasons why it won't work.  When it does work it can be very satisfying.  There's nothing like it.  Just do a lot of research and planning before you decide to commit yourself to the business.  

Two words:  Due diligence.

This is great advice. There are a million reasons not to start your own business, and you should really be aware of those reasons.

My mom's "retirement" plan was to buy a campground. Pretty much all of her friends told her she was crazy to sell her house, move to another state, and own a business. It's been a lot of work for her, but in a little over two years she's making about 10x as much money each year as she did at her last job. It took her about 5 years to find one that grossed enough and was cheap enough for her to afford, and in those 5 years she did a lot of research.

Another thing to think of is alternative revenue streams. I know a guy who wanted to start a coffee shop. He found an investor to help with the down payment, and they bought an old warehouse for about $1m. They gutted it and turned it into 5 different retail storefronts, and artist studios. His coffee shop is one of those retail stores, and they rent the rest of the building. Even at half capacity, the renters more than pay the mortgage. At full capacity they make a lot more than the coffee shop ever could.

If you need to lease/buy a brewery, why not buy a big building and earn some rent, if you can get the capital together for the down-payment?
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