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Old 04-25-2011, 02:03 AM   #1
rgrim001
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Default Brewpub or Microbrewery

I recently read "Brewing Up A Business" which left me wondering a few things. I have read different opinions on the stability of brewpubs vs. pure microbreweries. What would technically be considered the safer business venture, a brewpub or a microbrewery?

Just looking for educated opinions I guess. Let me hear it!



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Old 04-25-2011, 02:11 AM   #2
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Depends on a ton of factors, laws included.

At some point, I may get involved in a brewpub venture with my friend who is an experienced head-chef preparing to venture out on his own. He has run two restaurants. The kitchen he currently runs is a steak house that has been in business in notoriously restaurant-fickle Brooklyn for over 20 years.

Point being, in my case, being that I have a best-friend who is an experienced professional on the restaurant side, a brewpub would be a great way to start. The restaurant branding will already be there, to include regulars who will following him from his previous jobs. Furthermore, the laws in the city favor brewpubs over packaging breweries, at least from what I have seen so far.



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Old 04-25-2011, 02:26 AM   #3
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I don't think either is "safer" they just come with different risks.

The brewpub needs to be able to support both the restaurant and the brewery/bar but a solid restaurant manager and chef should make it functional so long as there is a market for that kind of restaurant. The brewpub needs strong local support unless you can also sell away from the brewpub (e.g. growlers or bottles).

The brewery lives or dies by its ability to get distributed and sold. The benefit is that you can distribute to a large area but you have one product that you live or die by. There's no diversification of income sources. It's beer and just beer.

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Old 04-25-2011, 03:08 AM   #4
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I don't know if I would use the word "safer" but a brewpub for the most part is a restaurant that happens to make some beer. That means it's going to come with all of the problems of one like staffing, hours, parking, nights & weekends, running a kitchen and so on. That doesn't mean a brewery is safe or easy but there is perhaps a narrower focus needed.

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Old 04-25-2011, 04:02 AM   #5
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I would say that a brewpub would be "safer" (no such thing when starting a business) but a micro-brewery would be easier.

Get someone who knows what they're doing to run your restaurant if you go brewpub.

Doesn't Sam say in that book that their brewpub basically subsidized the brewery?

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Old 04-25-2011, 06:37 AM   #6
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I met a guy who had his own 10bbl micro and he said brewing the beer was the easy part, finding people to buy it is the trick. In a decently well known/marketed brewpub, they come to you. 5 bucks a glass > 2

The brewery end of the brewpub would be simpler. Serve from your bright tanks, no need to bottle or even keg. Also in theory you might have freer range to brew different beer. But they say most restaurant startups fail, so i personally would try for a taproom with some offsales.

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Old 04-25-2011, 08:20 AM   #7
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If you happen to live in an area that has legalized gambling, get a slot machine license and go for a brewpub. You'll make $$$ from the machines, and you can do what you want with the brewing part of it!

My brother does real estate, and is an expert in bar and tavern licenses in Vegas. His clients are doing well in their bars here. Even after the economic turn, most of these pubs are still making money from their machines.

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Old 04-25-2011, 03:20 PM   #8
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For me, a brewpub seems to help customers be more patriotic to your the beers. It would be a place where groups of friends can come and drink. The downside for a brewpub, I think, is not only do you have to worry about beer quality, you have to worry about food quality.

On a side not, A brewbar? would be nice that only brews beer and offers snack food or lets people order from other places to bring to the bar.

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Old 04-25-2011, 08:55 PM   #9
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Yeah, kitchens are an overhead. Here in Vegas, a law was passed a couple of years ago that banned smoking where food is served in bars. A few bars had to wall up their dining area away from the bar.

If you could work out not having a kitchen, you'd be doing good!

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Old 04-25-2011, 09:13 PM   #10
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Brewpub. The profit margins on selling beer you produced across your own bar is much higher than selling it across other people's bars.



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