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Old 11-16-2011, 02:34 PM   #1
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Default Starting a brew pub

I would like some info from anyone who has opened a bar restaurant or brewpubs of anything similar. I will have my entrepreneur degree in a year and want to open a brewpubs or something similar can anyone offer advice and also the steps to open it and everything I need to know... I thought it would be a good idea to start my research about a year in advance so I can have everything prepared.

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Old 11-16-2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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Start you permitting and licensing process ASAP, it takes much longer than expected and the delay can potentially ruin the best business plans

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Old 11-16-2011, 02:57 PM   #3
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Disclaimer: I have never opened a brewery, just read extensively on it as it is one of my lifes ambitions that will likely never get met as there is way too much regulation and risk involved.

Do you have a million or two sitting around or will you be able to secure that type of a loan? If you don't have significant business credit, collatoral, or investors you are probably going to be told no by everyone, especially with today's lending issues.

If you can get the money you need to first start with government paper work as Hopsalot said. You have to deal with both federal and state licensing issues; but, the federal ones are the big ones and take the longest so start there. Find someone local who has done it before and ask for their help or pay someone to help you, if you screw up the paper work it will be rejected and you will have to resubmit which could be an extremely costly error. Get help setting up the brewery, you may be able to research your way into it, but if you are serious about getting the business going, you'd be much better getting an expert who has done it before and can help you put together a system. Go at least 7 barrels, but it is much cheaper the bigger you go so if you can open with a 10 or 15 barrel system you will be ahead of the game. Any smaller than 7 barrels and you will be working day and night and not being able to produce enough to keep up, so you will either quickly end up having to upgrade or close down and figure out what to do with all the debt. As well, you have to advertise like hell. You can make great beer all day long and still lose out to the guy next door who makes swill, its all about advertising and getting people to come to you.

There is a ton more. But the single largest thing you need to do while finishing up your degree is go get yourself a job at a brewery. Learn everything you can from cleaning kegs, distribution, to brewing at that scale. You may find you don't want to do it after all. If you still have the energy for it at that point, you will learn invaluable lessons and maybe some great folks who share your dream and will go in on the venture too.

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Old 11-16-2011, 03:12 PM   #4
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What is an entrepreneurial degree?

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Old 11-16-2011, 03:18 PM   #5
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A business degree focused on owning your own business

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Old 11-16-2011, 03:48 PM   #6
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I am not trying to discourage you from your dream but MI has a LOT of great Craft/Micro and brew pubs already on top of the CRAZY laws in that state. If it were me I would try to fire up a LEGAL distillery at least you would have a niche.

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Old 11-16-2011, 04:15 PM   #7
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I "HIGHLY" suggest you get significant real-life experience in running all aspects of a restaurant (both BoH and FoH), your degree is nice, but the realities of restaurant life and management of such are not taught in any school.

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Old 11-16-2011, 05:01 PM   #8
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+1 "real-life experience" is most important.

When you see the day to day workings of a business, especially food related you will have a different take on reality. They can't prepare you for that in school.

I've owned several businesses and unfortunately one of them was food related - pure hell !

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Old 11-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #9
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I did a project where the client needed to obtain a liquor license. The jurisdiction limited the number of licenses and if you wanted one you needed to buy it from someone else. The price 15 years ago was $1.5M. Check to be sure a license is available before you lay out your green.

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Old 11-24-2011, 07:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by william_shakes_beer View Post
I did a project where the client needed to obtain a liquor license. The jurisdiction limited the number of licenses and if you wanted one you needed to buy it from someone else. The price 15 years ago was $1.5M. Check to be sure a license is available before you lay out your green.
So the real business is to get a liquor license, keep in business long enough for the license to appreciate, and then retire on its sale. Gotta love when stupid laws make it impossible to have a business.
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