How to start a brewery: Q&A with Elysian Brewing’s Dick Cantwell
I just want people to think about the wisdom of size and go in with their eyes open. They have a self-contained clientele. It exists in a bubble. Theoretically, one intersection could have a brewer on each corner and each could have its loyal clientele.
The Case for Brew Pubs
Sure, they are in competition but I think the competition is far less compared to when everyone is out competing for tap handles and on grocery store shelves. Many people have said that the quality of beer must remain high for the industry to keep flourishing, and that a decline hurts everyone. That happened during the s boom and bust.
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Have you seen any signs of decline in this current wave of new breweries? That is one of the pitfalls of a nano, as well. In many cases, the equipment is on a shoestring, not necessarily state of the art.
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When a nano gets at all busy, their demand will far exceed supply. When that happens at a brewery of any size, you are tempted to make a decision that compromises quality. I have seen variable quality in small breweries opening up. But I am concerned about some of the equipment setups I see. Onto a money question.
Brewers Association's Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery
There are many paths, from banks to Small Business Administration loans to rounding up investors to Kickstarter. What is the financial climate now for new brewers? That is another reason you see more nanos. If you start small without having to get much money, within six months or a year you have created a brand or a following. Everyone has family and friends, and that was the primary source for us. But there is a lot of competition out there for the investing dollar.
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But, for those willing to take on both, brewpubs are an attractive way to diversify their revenue streams and attract customers outside core craft-beer drinkers. Operating a kitchen as well as the brewery has made Funky Buddha Brewery Oakland Park, Florida a more consistent draw. Information collected by the Brewers Association on the historical success of brewpubs bears this out.
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According to an article published in the January edition of The New Brewer, an Ohio State study found that 60 percent of new restaurants close within the first three years, while only 46 percent of the 2, brewpubs that have opened in the past thirty-five years have closed. Then comes the Excise License. If you have a tap room you need a By The Glass License which requires community council approval by way of a municipal resolution of support.
Finally the Retail Store Authorization, for which you must write letters to churches, schools, public parks, playgrounds, community centers and libraries within a one kilometer radius of the brewery, and they can notify the AGCO if they have objections to your opening.
Related A Brewers Guide to Opening and Operating a Brewpub
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