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How to Start a Brewery: Growing Your Own Craft Beer Business

Craft beer is a booming industry with social momentum and an ever increasing demand for locally produced brew. From the start up to distribution, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to start a brewery business.

The “how to start a brewery with no money” is about how to start a craft beer business. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

how to start a brewery

According to the Brewers Association, there were more than 7,450 breweries in the United States in 2018, much higher than the record peak of 4,131 breweries in 1873. Making excellent beer and opening the doors is no longer enough in such a saturated market.

The good news is that if all of those folks can start a brewery, so can you—as long as you know what you’re doing and have a great brewery business plan.

Starting a brewery is a dirty, intricate job full of twists, turns, delays, failures, and surprises—but it’s also one hell of a journey.

We’ll speak to brewers who’ve been there and done that, seek advice from professionals in supporting areas like insurance and finance, and examine regulatory difficulties in our guide to establishing a brewery.

While brewing wonderful beer may be your passion, this book will help you learn about the financial aspect of craft beer.

Table of Contents

This tutorial will walk you through the seven most important phases in establishing a brewery:

  1. Considering opening a brewery
  2. Finding a place for a brewery
  3. Brewery equipment selection
  4. Developing connections with merchants and the community
  5. Investing in a brewery
  6. Obtaining insurance prior to the establishment of a brewery
  7. When beginning a brewery, it’s important to keep rules in mind.

The first step is to plan a brewery.

Every brewery, regardless of size or age, was once a start-up.

Dan Hughes and his brother Stephen launched ColdFire Brewing, a 10-barrel brewery, in December 2015. They’re continuously working on company growth and recipe development, as well as negotiating bureaucracy and dealing with the usual delays that occur with brewery construction, equipment delivery, and regulatory approval.

“We started thinking seriously about opening our brewery a few years ago, and we were still ironing out specifics as we were ready to open our doors,” Dan adds.

To make their idea a reality, the Hughes brothers devised a sound business strategy and assembled a core team. ColdFire received additional funding via an SBA loan, which was backed by a group of private local investors.

The ColdFire Brewing team meets to plan marketing.

The ColdFire Brewing crew gets together to discuss marketing strategies.

Dan is in charge of operations, while his brother Stephen is in charge of brewing, and their team also comprises directors of finance and brand.

Keep a close eye on your money.

According to Dan, having a key financial person in place has helped them improve their cash flow monitoring as well as their overall financial situation and requirements. Most small companies and startups that want to expand—hire a new employee, acquire new equipment, or establish a new location—must carefully consider cash flow, or ensuring that they have enough money in the bank to cover payroll and other financial responsibilities.

Regularly review your company strategy.

Committing to evaluating your business plan and financials on a regular basis is a solid first step toward making better informed, wiser spending choices, which may have a significant influence on the long-term health of a new firm. Forecasting and comparing your actual outcomes to your forecasts on a regular basis can assist you catch any problems before it’s too late.

Don’t skip the business plan if you don’t already have one.

Don’t skip the business strategy for your brewery if you don’t already have one. It has been established that planning may help you develop 30 percent quicker. Plus, if you apply for a loan or an investment, your potential investors will expect you to have one. Check out Bplans’ brewery example business plans if you’re not sure what to put in your strategy. To assist you in getting started, you may download them for free. Two of our most popular sample plans are as follows:

Sedibeng Breweries is a brewery in Sedibeng, South Korea.

The strategy is as follows: Sedibeng Breweries is a medium-sized brewery in Selebi Phikwe, Botswana’s rising industrial area. The first objective is to make three different types of beer. These items will be transported to distant yet very viable places where there is a need for conveniently accessible, high-quality brew.

Martin Cove Brewing Company is a microbrewery located in Martin Cove,

The strategy is as follows: Martin Cove Brewing Company, based in Medford, Oregon, has been a thriving microbrewery for the last three years. Martin Cove Brewing Company expects to make $520,000 in sales this year. They want to use the funds to increase distribution to chosen urban regions across Oregon. In addition, a new product, a classic German Marzen-style beer, will be introduced.

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Advice from Dan Hughes on how to establish a brewery

1. Defining a clear vision is the most critical component.

“We know what type of brewery we want to build, and we’ve attempted to base all of our choices on that vision.”

2. There must be a dedication to the art.

“We consider it a luxury to be able to start a brewery, and we are not doing it for the money.” Indeed, we’re accepting a wage reduction to have the opportunity to build a brewery. We do it with the goal of building a high-quality brewery that respects the traditions of those who came before us.”

3. Each and every connection matters.

“Building a few excellent connections opens the door for new partnerships, and that trend has only continued to hold true.”

“Our bank knew about us before we met them, and our landlord had already been contacted by other brewers.” Fortunately, we’ve always believed it’s important to treat people with respect and to listen to wise counsel. That has worked out beautifully for us.”

4. Be ready for licensing and regulatory issues.

“It takes time—a lot of time—to submit, follow up, and get clearance. We sort of understood what we were getting into since we’d been planning this for so long, and we’ve been able to get through most of the hurdles so far. However, they all take a long time.

“With that stated, the federal license, also known as a TTB permit (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) permission, was the most time-consuming and difficult. The more complicated a company’s working structure is, the more data and time it requires.”

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The second step is to locate a brewery.

The location of your brewery, from land usage to public perception, is a critical choice. Brewers, on the whole, prefer to set up business in their own backyard.

Here are some things to think about:

  • What laws apply to brewers on a local and state level? (And there will be plenty—brewing is one of the country’s most heavily regulated businesses.)
  • Where can you locate property or a facility in your neighborhood that has the necessary zoning, size, facilities, and access for bringing in raw ingredients, drawing consumers, and/or carrying finished beer out for distribution?
  • What local favorites will you need on hand to appeal to the market, and how can you stand out by innovating?
  • Will you simply brew ales, or will you create room for lagers, barrel-aging, and other options?
  • Are you planning to open a production brewery or a brewpub?
  • Do you want to expand your manufacturing and distribution outside your own bar, or do you want to concentrate on selling over your own bar?
  • Do you wish to expand your business to several locations?
  • What kind of construction will be required to get your first site up and running?

All of these factors, as well as others, will impact the best location for your brewery. However, according to Jason Jordan of Propel Insurance, the most important thing is to start with the correct space—and one that is larger than you think you’ll need.

“I can’t tell you how many brewers I’ve spoken to in their second to third year in business,” he adds, “and they all stated their greatest regret was not being able to develop into a larger space.”

Brewers must, however, be ready to take a close look at where they want to open a brewery and do their study to ensure that they can do so successfully. According to Ben Price, co-founder of Hard Knocks Brewing, a tiny brewpub in its second year of business, word of mouth is no replacement for market research.

“The single worst mistake I’ve ever made was placing my company in a community that doesn’t care about craft beer,” Ben adds. Brewers could employ data companies like Insighttics to monitor where and how consumers spend their money in a certain location, according to him.

“You want a figure of 70% or more within five miles of the zip code you want,” Ben explains. “I made the error of relying on word of mouth for information. You want folks who care about their community and want a nice product manufactured locally.”

Tending the Hard Knocks Bar

Taking care of the Hard Knocks Bar.

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Step 3: Brewery equipment selection

Your first system will most likely consist of seven to fifteen barrels, but do your own calculations. Calculate how much you’ll need in production at any given moment to be profitable.

What you should know when purchasing a new car

A new system may face delays, particularly if demand from other brewers is great, but you’ll be able to build it to your exact requirements and specifications, and you’ll have assistance if problems emerge (and they will).

“You’ll probably start with a seven-barrel system and spend somewhere between $130,000 and $175,000 brand new,” says Patrick McCarthy, a financial advisor who helps brewers plan capital and business strategies.

Is buying old brewing equipment a wise idea?

A secondhand system may get you in the door faster and save you money up front, but make sure you properly investigate the system and seller—and keep in mind that you’ll likely be on your own to resolve any issues.

“Secondhand systems are practically as costly as new systems, so you’re not saving much money, but you could receive it sooner than if you ordered new.” Some people try to save money by ordering equipment from other countries. Many brewers avoid it because of perceived quality discrepancies,” Patrick explains.

Ninkasi Brewing’s Brewing Capacity Expansion

Ninkasi Brewing started with a 15-barrel system in 2006 and produced 1,650 barrels. Ninkasi was the 35th largest brewery in the United States in 2018, and the fourth largest in its home state of Oregon, behind powerhouse brands like Deschutes, Rogue, and Full Sail. The brewery sold its controlling ownership to a bigger corporation in April of this year.

Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, co-founders, rented their startup equipment from a family who runs a German restaurant out of a former brewery. Floyd and Ridge found land where they could move and grow their activities while producing and self-distributing their beer. With a 20-bbl brew system, three 60-bbl fermenters, and one 20-bbl fermenter, they relocated into their present site. They replaced the 20-bbl brew system with a 30-bbl system a year later, followed by another expansion to 50 barrels a year and a half later. They now brew using an 80-100-bbl system, but the 50-bbl is still available for special brewing projects and R&D brews.

“Throughout our first seven years of operation, we planned for expansion and capacity,” Jamie explains. “In some respects, it’s simple to grow out in this fashion because you constantly need something, so it’s more about the finance and logistics.”

“While switching out new technologies and boosting capacity and infrastructure, we continued to make beer.” Our ability to work around the construction we were undertaking was one of our best assets.”

Today, Nikasi has some serious brewing facilities.

Ninkasi now has some serious brewing equipment.

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Step 4: Establishing connections with suppliers and the community

It takes a team to start a microbrewery and make exceptional beer. It’s a collection of interactions between consumers, government authorities, artisans, and your own employees that’s continually organized and continuing.

Locate dependable advisers.

“The number one piece of advise I tell new brewery customers who are in the early phases of development is to engage your primary business suppliers early in the process and locate the proper individuals to fulfill your requirements,” says Jason Jordan.

“You’ll need dependable consultants with a track record in the beverage business and a sizable portfolio of brewery customers. The architect, business lawyer, intellectual property attorney, banker, insurance broker, real estate agent, label maker, hop farmer, malt supplier, tank fabricator, and accountant would all fall into this category.”

Choose the proper people for the job.

Not just in founding your brewery, but also in how and when you expand, relationships and having an ear to the ground are essential. Since Falling Sky Brewing’s first brewpub debuted in Eugene, Oregon in 2012, Jason Carriere, the owner of Falling Sky Fermentation Supply Shop and co-founder of Falling Sky Brewing, has had many ups and downs. They’ve since built a second site, a food-focused pourhouse, and a third location, a pub and pizza on the University of Oregon campus.

Jason explains, “I’d been operating the homebrew store for a while.” “I’d already seen some of my finest workers go on to become brewers around town, so I decided to really consider expanding ourselves, keeping the team together, and providing a means for homebrewers who worked at the business to become pro.”

The new Falling Sky Brewery even opens up onto a garden.

Even better, the new Falling Sky Brewery has a garden.

Falling Sky brewed 800 barrels in their first year, and 1,300 in 2015, all while working on their third site, relocating their homebrew store, and expanding their present brewhouse.

Know who your consumers are and how much money you have.

Instead of novelty, Jason believes in “understanding who your consumers are and what they want,” balanced with competence and continuous workmanship. He continues, “I’m not a huge believer in recipes or unique hop combinations that no one else has thought of.” “Breweries don’t truly gain consumers with one beer, but one beer may lose customers.”

Jason recommends a detailed awareness of the brewery’s production figures and financials, as well as a hands-on understanding of everyday operations, when it comes to expansion.

Your instincts and intuition are then informed as a result of this. All of this must be brought together through regular communication with your employees, business partners, suppliers, and other essential stakeholders.

“If your brewery is at 60 percent capacity and you have empty tanks hanging around, you wouldn’t want to grow,” Jason adds. “You also need to keep an eye on the community and the industry to see whether you’re saturating specific markets or if you hear from people who want your beer but can’t obtain it.” But it all boils down to how we’ll grow. Just because someone wants your beer at a market doesn’t imply it’s part of your plan.”

Be open to new possibilities.

However, you must be aware of chances that present themselves, even if they are unexpected—bringing intuition, opportunity, and connections back into play.

“We didn’t have a five-year plan to create a third restaurant,” Jason adds, “but when the University of Oregon contacted us, we listened.” “It was one of those situations where we didn’t want to grow, but it was far enough away that we could plan it out without feeling rushed.” Our second stop was a little more hurried.

The brewpub was already overburdened, particularly in the kitchen, so the deli expansion was more of a means of allowing the pub to do more of what it needed to do again. To handle producing fries and ketchup, the second facility featured a larger kitchen, refrigerated storage, and other amenities. It was a perfect storm of good fortune and foresight.”

However, this does not imply that it was simple. “I’m not going to lie, it was terrifying,” Jason admits. “For a few months when we initially started the deli, it seemed like a terrible idea. “However, things changed.”

Don’t second-guess yourself; put your faith in your team.

Jason and his colleagues aren’t prone to second-guessing or remorse. Not that things have always been simple or pleasant, but he attributes his ability to make crucial decisions without looking back to excellent preparation and collaboration.

Falling Sky made the strategic choice to concentrate on local sales rather than broad distribution. “I’m not one to second-guess myself. When I make a choice, it’s because I’m confident in it, and I’ve considered the implications and come to grips with the repercussions of selecting one option over another,” Jason explains. “In the face of shelf wars and SKU conflicts, I’m secure in our choice to concentrate on selling beer rather than our bar.”

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Step 5: Obtaining funding for a brewery

Sure, beer is made up of water, grain, yeast, and hops—but there’s an unseen fifth component that’s just as important: money.

Establish a connection with the appropriate bank.

Raising financing for any company, and breweries are no different, can be tough. Patrick McCarthy has held numerous positions in the financial field, the most recent of which was Vice President Commercial Relationship Manager at Bank of the Cascades, which has 35 craft beer firms as clients.

Patrick has counseled scores of new breweries, from examining business plans to helping potential brewers network with crucial individuals, and has worked with institutions that have directly backed six breweries, a cidery, and a kombucha producer throughout the years.

Patrick doesn’t consider his job to be limited to studying company plans or calculating figures. “You want to be useful and help the company grow forward,” he adds. “It’s great if a business comes in the bank, but at the very least you’ve established some friends.”

Patrick’s general advise for companies that want to make sure they’re not just making good beer but also maintaining good finances is as follows:

1. Banks are seldom providers of startup funding.

A fledgling brewery is unlikely to seek a starting loan from a bank (banks usually come into play for capital to fund growth once a brewery is more established). The most frequent sponsors are friends and family, and many firms are self-funded. Some places, such as Portland, Oregon, have “beer angels,” or private angel investors who are familiar with the beer industry and invest in chosen breweries and cideries.

Small Business Administration (SBA) loans may also be beneficial, although “the SBA program is handled differently from bank to bank,” according to Patrick. “Some bankers have a lot of interest, expertise, and depth, and they can be a wonderful advocate for a new brewery.” However, many banks see breweries as eateries and shun them, or they want to see them in operation for three to four years before investing.”

2. Be honest with yourself about your company’s potential.

Here are some of the characteristics Patrick looks for when evaluating a new company to help him determine the brewery’s chances of success:

  • Do they know how to brew a decent beer? Have they created any decent beer in the past? Have you won any awards?
  • How long have they been brewing? Someone who has been brewing in their garage for five years is not the same as someone who has been brewing in a well-established brewery for the previous 15 years.
  • Is their credit in good standing? Why not, if not?
  • What financial stake do they have in the game? Will they be able to keep up with the delays? Do they have access to emergency funds?

3. Breweries don’t have a single business model or strategy.

Each brewery will operate on its own business model and strategy. Prospective brewers must choose the best business model for their objectives, location, interests, initial money, and long-term vision before launching a brewery.

Taphouses, production breweries, and complete brewpubs are common models. According to Patrick, there’s also a new trend dubbed “alternating ownership,” in which brewers brew part-time on someone else’s system.

Breweries may concentrate on certain aspects of any model to differentiate themselves and boost income. “Some brewers place a premium on food because a dollar spent on food may convert into a dollar spent on beer,” Patrick explains. “Having control over your own distribution is excellent. There are overhead tradeoffs, but I’m increasingly seeing it.” He notes that exports are becoming more important, with overseas markets such as Japan becoming more thirsty for American craft beer.

He continues, “Everyone is trying to figure out what they can afford and what works.” “Making excellent beer is no longer sufficient. There’s much too much wonderful beer out there to quickly stand out.”

Even if you aren’t seeking financing, creating a Lean Company Plan that you can use to assist manage your business when obstacles and opportunities occur is an excellent idea. A Lean Plan’s value is that it’s designed to be evaluated and altered on a regular basis, so you’re not simply taking a picture of your company and objectives once and then putting it away for five years.

4. Money must be on hand to pay charges and avoid delays.

For small to medium-sized breweries, the ratio between sales and fixed assets is approximately $6 of sales to $1 of fixed assets on an industry-wide basis.

Calculate the expenses of starting a brewery.

Begin by calculating your beginning expenses. The brewing equipment (e.g., $130,000–$175,000 for a new seven-barrel system) and tenant upgrades to the property (which in Patrick’s experience in Oregon, including Portland markets, has generally ranged $200,000–$350,000) are often the highest expenditures for a new and developing brewery.

“It’s costly to renovate a business property that lacks drainage, certain water lines, the necessary electricity, ventilation, and other amenities,” he says. “Many additionally have a back bar, chairs, and other amenities.” Costs vary depending on the scope, location, and market.

Be prepared for delays and difficulties.

“Problems with local licensing or permission that create a delay in opening may be quite costly,” Patrick explains. “Every day they are unable to serve their own beer is financially disastrous. The greatest risk I’ve seen in the early phases of a business is time.”

Delays are unavoidable in the early stages of a brewery’s development. Fabrication and delivery of brewing systems may take longer than anticipated. Approval of regulatory or permit applications might take months. Unexpected snags might occur during construction. Make sure your cash reserves are sufficient to cover delays and additional charges.

“Seasonality is also important,” Patrick says. “When the beer-drinking season begins, you want to have the doors open.” The slowest months for a brewery are generally the winter months. By April or May, you want to be open. Because of beginning delays, this isn’t always possible, but starting in April and May, you’ll want to operate during those busy months.”

5. Treat your bookkeeping with the same reverence that you do your brewing.

“I turned down a brewer that didn’t follow the accounting procedure,” Patrick explains. “The brewers are concentrating on their first love: brewing good beer. Accounting isn’t always at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts, but in this case, it was negligently overlooked. “You can’t let accounting go to the wayside.”

You must ensure that the books are balanced and the financials are adequately monitored, just as quality control is vital for excellent beer. Patrick explains, “Accounting keeps you out of trouble.” “It helps in planning, obtaining a return, and eventually generating cash.”

Know your numbers when it comes to metrics.

So, knowing your financials is vital, but what do you need to measure in order to understand your brewery’s financial health?

Brewers should keep an eye on the following figures, measurements, and other factors, according to Patrick:

  • Within the first six to twelve months of business, breweries should break even or make a little profit. “At the very least, they’re breaking even, but they’re not paying themselves very well yet.”
  • Between 12 and 18 months, the bottom line should be profitable by 10% to 15%. “If I’m accustomed to seeing all models successful by at least 10% to 15% two years out,” Patrick adds, “then I need to understand why or how you’re going to get there.”
  • Beyond that, look at year-round profitability on a quarterly basis, aiming to be profitable yearly or at the very least break even quarterly.
  • Are food costs (food-cost-percent and food labor) being kept to 20 to 25% of food revenues if food is a part of the business?
  • Are you at capacity now, or will you be soon? What equipment do you need in the next six months to meet demand?
  • Flow of funds. Given that winter is typically a slower season, how much financial liquidity do you have at the end of each quarter and at the start of the fourth quarter?
  • What is your leverage, or the ratio of total liabilities to total assets? “There is no magic number,” Patrick explains, “but the higher the debt, the more risky the business model.” I have to take a closer look if someone is exceeding three-to-one, two-to-one. It’s possible that this is a transient ratio that adjusts. I need to know why the leverage is being pushed out. Is it a loss? Is it a case of poor management?”
  • Is it time to up your game? Patrick argues it’s time to look about scaling if your balance sheet shows $7 to $8 sales for every $1 assets (and $6 sales for every $1 assets is common).

You’ll look at enhancing efficiency as you have a handle on a lucrative bottom line. Breweries, for example, typically purchase a grain silo as their production volume grows. “They can purchase in bulk and simply decrease grain costs in half,” Patrick explains. “Grain silos have a proclivity for penciling out quickly.” It’s a big step forward.”

The same can be said for the rest of the brewery. “As you become bigger, you’ll have more money to squeeze that last 5% profit out of your brew.”

Creating a sales prediction and a cash flow projection that you review at least once a month may be quite beneficial. Holding a company or Lean Plan review meeting that includes your financials is an excellent method to keep yourself responsible.

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Step 6: Before starting a brewery, get insurance.

Breweries, like any other company, need numerous types of insurance. A brewery with a big staff and a fleet of self-distribution vans will have different requirements than a three-person production-only business. Find a reputable insurance agent with prior expertise dealing with brewers or vineyards.

No, insurance isn’t as exciting as picking which new “it” hop to use in your new IPA, but a brewery that doesn’t keep up with its insurance obligations, according to Jason Jordan of Propel Insurance, is asking for problems.

Note that insurance and bond requirements differ by state, municipality, and kind of brewery, so speak to your insurance agent and even your lawyer about what’s best for your business and where you’re going to open a brewery.

According to Jordan, the most pressing problem is the landlord’s lease agreement. “It might be boilerplate or there could be a slew of various insurance coverage and limit needs to meet.”

Other areas of coverage that a brewery may need, according to Jordan, may vary based on the operation:

  • Coverage of business profits and additional expenses
  • Sewer and drain backups
  • Coverage for equipment breakdowns (depending on the age of their brew system)
  • All equipment and commercial property are covered by property insurance.
  • A buy-sell arrangement may be used to get key man insurance (if the brewery has multiple partners)
  • Coverage of market value (for offerings such as a barrel aging program)
  • Coverage of product recalls “may be an issue at times.”
  • Theft of money and securities is covered by crime insurance.
  • If you’re expanding into or beginning to self-distribute products, you’ll need commercial car insurance.
  • If there are employees on the payroll, workers compensation is required, as is employment practices liability insurance (commonly known as EPL insurance or EPLI) to cover hiring and firing procedures.

According to Jordan, the most typical claims filed by breweries are for workers’ compensation injuries, such as employees straining a muscle or injuring their back moving heavy objects. Another typical issue is lost product due to a power outage or mechanical failure of a glycol chiller, as well as sewage and drain backups (which cause space damage and business disruption, resulting in lost income).

“The demands don’t alter a lot from a brewery or brewpub that produces 500 barrels a year to a brewery or brewpub that produces 25,000 barrels a year,” Jordan explains. “The most pressing worry is keeping track of equipment values for new acquisitions and expansions in order to ensure that the brewery is sufficiently insured in the event of a loss.” Brewery owners are known for creating excellent beer but not for keeping up with their agent’s requests for adjustments.” Keep an eye on it to help you save money in the long term.

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Step 7: When beginning a brewery, keep rules in mind.

There are rules and regulations, of course, and brewing is a heavily regulated business. Relevant municipal, state, and federal agencies, such as your state’s alcohol regulatory agency and the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, or TTB, will need permissions and compliance for your brewery.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), for example, requires a producer to have a $300,000 liquor liability limit. The TTB requires all new brewers who intend to sell beer to file a Brewer’s Notice at the federal level. The TTB provides a Brewers Qualification website that outlines what you’ll need to do to get the required government permissions when operating a brewery.

“You will have more to learn no matter how much you think you know,” says Jamie Floyd, co-founder of Ninkasi Brewing. “It develops and changes, and you must know the individuals who are making the changes and be willing to adjust as a firm.” If the FDA rules that we must include nutritional information on our bottles, you must comply. It’s a legal requirement. It’ll be up to you to figure it out and pay for it.”

Get to know your representatives in the legislature.

Jamie also suggests getting to know your politicians at all levels of government and working with trade associations to keep state and federal laws on beer regulation and taxes up to date and influence.

According to Patrick, the rise of the sector is leading to state-by-state changes in rules, “if not to support craft drinks, then to make it a more feasible business model.”

Be prepared for delays due to paperwork and compliance.

In the meanwhile, compliance isn’t always simple or quick. “Some of it is due to the paperwork’s tediousness. “Make one minor modification and re-file everything,” says Falling Sky Brewing co-founder Jason Carriere.

“TTB has a reputation for being slow to respond. We applied for the third expansion over two months ago, and we’re not allowed to contact to check on its progress for another ninety days. Then you wait two hours on hold to find out where your application is in someone’s stack when you finally call.”

Don’t forget about your federal responsibilities.

The Brewer’s Notice is also required for breweries. “That is the federal government’s authorization for a brewery to produce commercially,” Jason explains. “It includes taxes, as well as a bond that you must pay as insurance for paying beer taxes.” You complete a water and environment environmental impact statement. It’s license to create an alcoholic beverage in the United States and pay the taxes on it.”

While establishing a brewery takes a lot of time, money, vision, and navigating red tape, it is also a thriving sector, and brewers that stick to their plans have a good chance of succeeding. “The stats back it up: craft drinks are here to stay,” Patrick adds. “There will inevitably be a downturn, but one to two new breweries open every day throughout the nation.” People want it, and if they want it, they’ll get it.”

And it’s possible that person is you.

Note from the editor: This piece was first published in 2016. In 2019, it was upgraded.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a craft beer business?

A: The first thing that you should do is research the market. What are other craft breweries doing? How many people like your type of beer in your area? Do some demographic studies on how old or young someone needs to be, gender, and income level before they would buy a beer from you. Look into licensing laws for the state where you plan to open up shop. You will also want to get started with making sure that all of your stores have their own unique branding so customers know what brewery theyre getting their favorite drink from without having them look at the label

How much do craft beer companies make?

A: A craft beer company is a brewery that produces artisan-crafted beers primarily for distribution to bars and restaurants. Companies like New Belgium Brewing, which has an annual revenue of 6 billion dollars in 2017, can make 10 million dollars per year if they only sell 20% of their production.

Can you make money selling craft beer?

A: I am not a brewer, so I cannot answer this for you.

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