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Old 02-17-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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Default How much would it cost to start a brewery?

Just wondering if anyone has estimates on what it would take to start a brewery? This would be everything except the realestate/building needed. So, all the equipment including the stuff needed to bottle and keg along with all the equipment needed to brew.

How much start up capital would a person need to turn this into a reality?

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:05 PM   #2
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Somewhere between $50,000 and $5 million.

Is this a micro or a brewpub? What's the system capacity, and the annual production capacity? What state - do you need a full liquor license?

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:26 PM   #3
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Micro. Say something like Flying Dog brewery in Frederick, Md or Mountaineer Brewing Company in Martinsburg, WV.

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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If you are smart about picking a location with cheap available labor and easy to get trucks in and out, you might be able to start a place that can grow to Flying Dog size for something like a quarter million, this is assuming used equipment. You would be starting with something around 30 barrel brew length and with room to add more tanks as you grow.

In this lending environment, expect to have 20% of that lined up as equity capital before you even try to talk to a bank.

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:39 PM   #5
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And how long does it take a brewery of that size to create a batch of beer? Is it the same as homebrewing, or is there equipment that can speed up the process?

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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The same processes that are available to homebrewers are available to craft brewers of that size. Brew day will be longer as it obviously takes longer to lauter and bring to a boil those quantities. If you are brewing you can brew two batches in a very long day. If you can brew around the clock you can get 6-8 per day. Then you have to expand.

Craft brewers are more likely to take advantage of fermentation temperature control, cold conditioning, fining, filtration, and force carbing which can speed up the time from brewday to market.

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Old 02-17-2011, 03:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cokronk View Post
And how long does it take a brewery of that size to create a batch of beer? Is it the same as homebrewing, or is there equipment that can speed up the process?
First thing.. partner with someone who intimately knows the processes involved... That way, you'll reduce the number of wrong turns....
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:05 PM   #8
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I remember Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River saying 1.5 million a few years ago, so I'll say 3 million, today. Botteling lines run $25,000 and up, Brewing equipment another $65,000 and up depending on size, Fermentation and bright tanks another $3,000 each, then there are bottles, labels, cardboard shipping boxes and sixpack carriers, brewery swag, utility costs, travel and costs for professional organizations, clubs, GABF, etc. $30,000 and office overhead, add another $60,000 or more.

You should have enough capitol to run your brewery, pay utilities and wages for two years without any profit earned, until you can get name recognition in the industry.

I often thought I could do it for $250,000, but the enterprise would have been a Nano, too small for a production brewery and without any more "seed" money I'd be stuck at maxed out production with no hope of expansion without floating a loan and working for the bank.

Good Luck!

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Old 02-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Micro. Say something like Flying Dog brewery in Frederick, Md or Mountaineer Brewing Company in Martinsburg, WV.
So maybe 10,000 bbl/year to start out? I'd say $1 million, minimum.

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In this lending environment, expect to have 20% of that lined up as equity capital before you even try to talk to a bank.
That would be very generous. We were looking at 25% up front, and that was before the crash.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:22 PM   #10
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Are brewpubs generally the cheapest way to go? Less licenses and equipment needed?
(Sorry to hijack the thread)

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