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Old 01-22-2007, 03:04 PM   #1
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Default If you had the opportunity...

to open a brewpub/restaurant in your area.... would you? Would you make brewing your business? Lets face it, we are all hooked, myself included, to brewing and the art thereof. I have a friend here that is a gourmet chef who has all of his licenses for retail, distributing, his own corporation and CPA, along with a few close friends that he knows from another microbrewery in Indiana that would be available as general managers and partners. We had a discussion last night during the Colts game (GO COLTS) and he said that he really liked my ideas and what I was thinking in terms of a brewpub. What would you do??

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:08 PM   #2
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I think I would, but I'd go into it knowing the the food and atmosphere is what is going to make you sink or sail. I don't think there are enough beer fans in most areas to keep you afloat.

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:14 PM   #3
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I enjoy brewing as a hobby and would only consider it if it was pretty well garaunteed to be successful. That being said, If I were in your shoes I would much rather earn my living as a pilot than a brewer and wish I would have pursued the professional aspect of flying more.

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:15 PM   #4
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I work at a pub that used to be a brewpub. The brewmeister had brewed at another brewery in a nearby town that had gone out of business before starting up another place with some other investors, so he had something of a customer base already in place. That being said, we shut down the brewing part of the business about two years after opening, and have continued, with huge success, as a pizzeria/pub.

Despite this, I would absolutely go for it, as I myself have aspirations of starting a brewery someday (who among us doesn't?) or even reopening the brewery part of this pub. One excellent thing for me though is that I have many many beer loving friends/acquaintences from working at a pub for almost a decade, so I myself will have a built-in customer base.

It really just depends on what kind of area you're talking about. A more affluent neighborhood/town will have more people who have an interest in and the money for more exotic beers, including microbrews and local breweries.

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:15 PM   #5
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what rdwj said. True appreciators of fine beer are few and far between---much moreso than wine.

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:17 PM   #6
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I agree 100%, that was the center of the discussion last night... the microbrew portion would be a novelty, it would be for a small percentage of the customers that are snobs, like us. Alot of the discussion centered around the food, the matching of the meals to the brews made available and the atomosphere and the premise for which the pub was built upon. The brews and the food could not stand alone.

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:21 PM   #7
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Professional flying is not what what it used to be... the men who drive the "mobile lounges" out in DC are higher paid and have more benefits than most of us do. Greyhound, with wings, is what I would liken it to. Granted, I love my job, but it is not something that I would recommend to anyone at the same time.

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:23 PM   #8
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I might consider it after I retire. Too risky for me personally based on the local population where I live to try it. There are a lot of biker type bars around here and a local brewery just wouldn't fare well I believe.
However, it could work where your at. I had toyed with that idea when I used to travel a lot on business and make a effort to try and visit as many breweries as I could. One thing I don't think works well in brewery type of setups is buffet's. Beer and buffet's just don't mingle well with the family type of atmosphere and you won't get a lot of family business and face it, who does buffet? Families with kids.
The ones I have seen successful were the ones that had a speciality and they stick with that. Pizza for example. Blackhorse saloon in Clarksville Tennessee has some out of the world pizza period. The Blue Dog Cafe in Santa Fe New Mexico has some killer mexican type foods. But in general, it seems like pizza is the winner. I had always dreamed that if I had a brewery, I wouldn't concentrate on meals, but rather really cool finger foods because at a brewery, you don't want your customers getting filled up on food, you want them to enjoy the BREW. So I have like some killer nachos, great salsa dips, chicken strips, grilled steak or fish kind of finger food, etc. etc. of course the ol' standard....burgers, brats.
I'd also have a standing policy that the designated driver get's free soda and 10% off. Believe me, I've seen this work well.
You also need LOTS OF T.V.'s. Face it, there is so much media going around these days that you can't afford to be out of communication. I'd also try and open up like a T-mobile Hot spot or what ever they are called where as the cell phone user has unlimited access to emails and other cell phone stuff that you usually can't get roaming around.
OF course, hire cute college chicks.

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:23 PM   #9
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Well imho, I would. If your food is good, the beer is good and you have the customer base to handle it then it is worth it if you want to do it for a living. Having worked in the restaurant business in the past for quite a few years, there are some dynamics you encounter when going from cooking for family and friends to doing it as a business. I would imagine this is a corollary for brewing. The real question is, will you still love it when it is paying the bills and you have to meet production schedules...etc? (Sorry, somebody had to ask it). I ask myself this all the time. I know I could do it, and hopefully will do it in the near future.

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Old 01-22-2007, 03:24 PM   #10
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I have a friend who was a really good homebrewer, so he opened a brewpub. He found out the hard way that once you do it for a living it's not fun anymore. Personally, I'd never ruin a hobby I love by turning it into a job.

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