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Old 02-10-2008, 05:49 PM   #1
Jason Horlacher
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Default Going Pro...whose got what it takes?

I know we all have the dream of being a Micro brewery/brew pub, but is there anyone here that has taken the steps toward going Pro?

Has anyone researched? Acquried the means? Gone out and looked at real estate? DOES ANYONE HERE THINK THEIR BEER IS GOOD ENOUGH??

My wife and I have talked about opening a brew pub when we retire from the military...I figure we will have our retirement to live on while the place starts up...I have done some pricing of equipment. I have a few books on the subject too. I know I have a long way to go, but I dream about it daily...
just seeing if anyone else does...



Jason

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Old 02-10-2008, 06:01 PM   #2
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Brewtopia's in the middle of this process, and a couple other folks have done some exploratory studies. Take a gander at BrewPastor's "Don't Try This At Home" series of threads for his experiences working on the commercial side.

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Old 02-10-2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=11411
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:33 PM   #4
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As Bird stated above, my brewing partner and I are in the process of opening a Brewery/Taphouse in the Seattle area.

We think we found the perfect spot after months of searching and are currently drafting our letter of intent.

I recently had the opportunity to brew one of our recipes at a local brewpub and we rolled the beer out just this last Friday. The response was tremendous with a little over 50 people coming out for the occasion. Including several local professional brewers and beer writers.

We've changed our business plan in light of the recent hop shortage. The original plan was for a 15bbl production brewhouse with a taproom serving beers and light food. We are now looking at opening a taphouse with 18-20 guest taps, installing a much smaller brew system and brewing a few rotating house beers while we wait for the hop situation to correct itself. 2-3 years down the road, we'll look at scaling up the brewing operation.

I also want to second the suggestion to read Brewpastor's posts on the subject. He's been there, done that and there is a wealth of information in his story.

Good luck!

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Old 02-13-2008, 10:37 PM   #5
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Just wanted to quickly chime in on this one. Im new to brewing, but have my own business. Here is what I learned BEFORE I started mine. There is a HUGE difference between being an artisan/craftsman...and being an entrepreneur. Very few people possess the ambition, personality, and devotion to both be the artisan and the businessman. In my situation, I made a decision up front that I was going to be the main artisan in my business...therefore I needed to hire somebody to actually RUN the business. I guess if I was to relate the experience to Brewing...I would say either make a decision to RUN the business and make the decisions that will lead your company to success...or go the other route and HIRE somebody to run the business while you focus on creating a solid, marketable product. Doing both is not efficient for time or product quality. Im not saying it cannot be done, but any business consultant might tell you that the creator of a company MUST be willing to relinquish some control of the company in order to achieve steady growth.....this goes for any business. Just have sound hiring and training procedures to make sure that it runs like a machine. Just my thoughts.
Chris

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Old 02-13-2008, 11:35 PM   #6
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I'm on the path myself. Good advice so far. I would add, work for someone else before you open your own place. You can learn a lot more by doing it than imagining doing it, and you get to learn and get paid. Get an assistant brewer's job before you attend one of the schools (Davis or Siebel). It seems to me that the Brewer's Guild's on-line course with the internship is the best of the programs for homebrewer's looking to go pro. For now, brew, read, study, experiment, repeat.

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Old 02-13-2008, 11:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Horlacher
I know we all have the dream of being a Micro brewery/brew pub

Jason


I don't dream of that. Why ruin a great hobby by turning it into work??
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer
I don't dream of that. Why ruin a great hobby by turning it into work??
A-men. As my chemical engineer, brewing friend once said: "If I brewed for a living, what I do for a hobby? Make plastic?"


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Old 02-14-2008, 03:27 PM   #9
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Sage advise:

"Never turn something you love into something you hate."


Not that the thought doesnt cross all of our minds...

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Old 02-14-2008, 05:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw
A-men. As my chemical engineer, brewing friend once said: "If I brewed for a living, what I do for a hobby? Make plastic?"


TL


Yes, and i go to homeplastictalk.com for fellow minded people!
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