Originally Posted by Cromwell
There is a dealer who sells nano-brewery equipment - you can find them with just a little google searching. They have an interesting write-up about starting small. In a nutshell, they say they will sell you equipment that's smaller than 7 barrels, and it's less expensive to buy it used. Here's why - EVERY brewery that starts with less than 7 barrels either goes out of business and sells their equipment, or they upgrade quickly to something larger. Good food for thought.
Not going to get into the cost question, or a debate on nanos, but that guy clearly just wants to sell bigger systems because small one's aren't as profitable.
Nanos just haven't been around long enough for that many to have failed. In fact, I can't think of a single 3bbl brewer that has packed it up. People who upgrade typically keep their system for pilot or small-batch brewing.
On top of that, most of his assumptions about the Nano model are wrong. The nano has two big things going for it: low barrier to entry and the ability to sell 100% of your beer at retail thanks to tasting room laws. Selling 110 pints at $4 apiece is much better than selling your 1/2 bbls for $150.
I can't be arsed to keep up this list of what's in the fermenters, but hey, check out the cool brewery I own!
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