While the concept of starting a commercial brewery is thrilling, inspiring, and exhilarating, it can also be overwhelming.
Where should you begin? How much equipment do you need? Where do you find your recipes? How much space is required?
And most importantly, how do you ensure profitability?
There are numerous factors to consider.
But where can you turn for advice on starting a craft brewery?
Good news – we can assist you!
We have compiled a list of things you need to consider in the early stages of starting a brewery.
ACE 2000L Brewery Equipment
1. Define Your Purpose
Defining your purpose is crucial when starting any business, but it is especially true for craft breweries.
Being in the beer business is often driven by passion and love. It’s not solely about making a fortune. It’s about sharing your passion with people. If done well, you can make money, but initially, the focus should be on your love for brewing.
So, why do you exist? What can you offer that sets you apart from others? What is your Unique Value Proposition?
Once you answer these questions, you can incorporate them into your brand and marketing. People need to know what you stand for. You must decide how you want your customers to perceive you.
Your brand will play an integral role in:
- Type of beer
- Brewery experience
2. Legal Requirements
Your local council is your ally and an important partnership to establish. They can help you ensure compliance with all legal requirements.
If you are in Australia, you need to consider:
- Permits and licenses, including local city planning permits and development approvals (DA)
- State liquor license
- Building permit
- Wastewater agreement
- Australian Tax Office permission to manufacture alcohol
Additionally, it’s time to dive into spreadsheets – hooray! Crunch those numbers!
Although it might be a slow process, it is crucial to accurately calculate all your costs. Leave a buffer of around 10-15% to account for unexpected expenses.
Because unfortunately, they happen!
3. Join the Craft Beer Community
The craft beer industry is like a community unlike any other. We are eager to share information, celebrate achievements, and help one another.
Contact and connect with other breweries that have a similar setup to what you envision. Conduct research and learn from their successes and mistakes.
Find a mentor – someone who isn’t a direct competitor but can provide guidance and serve as a sounding board for ideas and concerns. The beauty of this relationship is its reciprocity – you can help each other out.
4. Brew Beer You Love
Of course, you need to identify your target market and conduct research to determine demand.
However, you don’t have to follow trends. Every game changer started as a “new idea” from someone’s imagination.
Don’t attempt to second-guess the market or create a subpar product in an attempt to differentiate yourself.
And never compromise on the quality of your ingredients and brewing process! While cost-saving measures have their place, remember that the quality of your product is paramount. It reflects your integrity and is the key to success.
If you truly love craft beer, you know what’s good. Your customers will notice if quality has been compromised.