With people craving good beer, the microbrewery business is growing rapidly. The market is expanding and has a huge scope to thrive over time. What matters the most about producing beer, is maintaining the quality, and flavors, and following the right brewing technique.
To start with, brewing is no rocket science. The process is simple, and if you follow the right steps, you can own a successful microbrewery.
You can independently control your brewery and produce specialized craft beer of different flavors. Here’s a complete guide on how to successfully set up a microbrewery business.
13 Steps to Start a Microbrewery Business
1. Understand the Local Market
Before starting any business, it is advised to collect as much information as possible regarding the market volume and local buying behavior. It holds true for the brewery business too.
Conduct detailed market research and find out the existing pricing structure of local competitors, the type of beers that are most popular, and the prospective customer base. This information will help you explore the gaps that exist and plan accordingly.
2. Create a Business Plan
The next important step toward starting a microbrewery business is to write a well-researched business plan. If you are planning to pitch for funding from investors, the single-most-important document is the business plan. Almost all investors will ask for the business plan to know more about your proposed venture.
Some of the key topics your microbrewery business plan document must address are the following:
- Executive summary
- Company details
- Market Information
- Operational plan
- Manpower hiring plan
- How do you plan to promote your brewery business?
3. Cost of Starting a Microbrewery Business
The initial investment will largely depend on the size and scale of the operation. The major cost will be in buying the brewery equipment. The minimum cost of buying brewing equipment for a small-scale brewery unit will be in the range of $70,000 to $80,000. The other essential investments are the rent of the space and the salaries of staff. and interior decorating expenses.
On average, to start a mini microbrewery unit one will need a minimum investment of $1,00,000.
4. Arrange Funds
Microbreweries need a considerable amount of investment. The setup costs are very high, so it is highly recommended to have your finances ready even before you start planning. Brewing equipment is costly and the setup is going to cost a substantial amount. If you are planning to take a loan, try opting for a longer payback plan.
5. Legal Compliance
Selling alcohol means you will need licenses. Legal paperwork will include a license for trade, selling alcohol, and distribution. Choose a proper business structure under which you are going to run a microbrewery business. The licenses differ from country to country and may take from 90 to 180 days to get things done. Be clear on the legal front to remain free from any hassle in the future.
**Pro Tip: Meet a lawyer and fulfill all the legal requirements beforehand. Once you obtain the licenses, step into the microbrewery equipment setup phase.
6. Selecting The Location
You have to select an ideal spot to brew your beer. You have two options. Either you can have your bar and brewery at the same place. Or, have a restaurant and brewery at different places. It’s suggested to keep both of them in one place to keep down the operational costs as much as possible.
7. Naming Your Microbrewery
Naming plays a major role in pulling a crowd. Remember people will come to your place to have a good time. So, choosing a cool and creative name is really essential. Plus, make sure your name has all the online availability. A hangout place means you will need a massive online presence. Make sure you have your own website, social media handles, and online listings.
Suggested Read: How to Name Your Business
The Internet is going to be an important medium to promote your microbrewery and bar business. So, make sure a relevant website domain name is available.
8. Buying The Brewery Equipment
It’s really important to get the right set of brewery equipment. Know what you want to produce and how much. It’s better you do your research first and be clear on what you want to produce. Then buy the equipment on what and how you want to brew.
- Kettles & Fermentation Tanks
- Kegs & Boilers
- Storage Tanks
- Filter tank & Pump
- Refrigeration Equipment
- Ice Liquid Tank
- Canning & Bottling Equipment
Invest in good equipment. Make sure you have the right set of storage infrastructure. Crafted beer needs proper cooling and storage facilities for it to preserve its flavors.
9. Microbrewery Unit Setup
Setup plays a major role in the brewery business. Remember your microbrewery and bar business is going to depend on what you serve. The production has to be very minute and setting up the brewery equipment in the right way is indispensable.
Also, have separate sections for each. Make sure the production and storage are done properly. Storing the beer in the right way is important to preserve the taste.
Also, do not forget to buy proper accounting software for smooth bookkeeping needs.
10. Create Proper Ventilation & Drainage Systems
Microbreweries need proper ventilation and drainage systems. As the machines will run on steam, make sure there’s enough space for proper ventilation. The drainage system should be effective as well to accommodate the produced beer.
11. Selecting The Flavors
Now it’s time to check what your competitors are serving. Microbrewery means people want to taste something different. If you and your competitors are offering the same kind of beer, why would people even visit your microbrewery? Be very selective while finalizing the flavors.
Also, fresh beer is the key. If you go on storing crafted beer, this will affect the taste. Though, there are brewing beers that need time to be ready.
**Pro Tip: Keep experimenting with the flavors. This will help to bring customers back to your microbrewery.
12. Take Your Beer Out
If you are able to brew some really good flavors, there’s a wide market waiting outside. A microbrewery doesn’t essentially mean you will only serve beer at your own place. Take your beer to other bars, widen your channel, and sell your brewed beer to other places as well.
If you can bottle down your beer, you can also sell your beer via liquor stores. Though, remember you will need a separate license to sell bottled beer.
13. Promote your Microbrewery
You will have to promote your microbrewery to reach out to a broader community. Start promoting on social media and serve your brewed beer as tasters for free initially. Pull in the crowd by promoting your brand. Run special offers and happy hours to attract more customers.
If you have been planning to start a microbrewery of your own, this is a complete guide you need to follow. We have covered every step you need to know about establishing a microbrewery business.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their business. Our aim is to educate the entrepreneur on the various stages of entrepreneurship.