Hi forums. I'm in the initial fact-finding phase of a brewing business and would very much like to hear your thoughts and critiques on my business plan. I very much value the opinions here and gladly welcome any thoughts that come to mind as you read. Here is what I propose: I would like to start a business where folks in the community can come and learn to brew. Novices can come and cut their teeth before jumping in and spending time and money on a hobby they may or may not enjoy, experienced brewers can come and work on high end gear they themselves can't afford or would like to test out before purchasing, and social groups can come spend an afternoon making something together and gain bragging rights weeks later as they serve the fruits of a fun afternoon to friends and family. The plan is to launch with between 2-4 full brewing setups ranging from partial mash Lo tech to ag high tech.
Because this must be a broad based business that does not totally rely on a constant stream of paying physical customers, the income streams will be as follows:
1. In-person brewing experiences led by knowledgable staff and add-ons such as custom labels for bottles, custom screened pint glasses, growlers, etc. Discounted gear packages available for those who want to jump in and start brewing at home. Beer ferments at the facility and each brewer is provided a password with which they can log on and watch their carboys bubble on webcams. Once done, beer is bottled and brewers come pick it up.
2. Online supplies/ingredient retail store where folks who come in and brew in person can receive discounts. Of course, purchasing would be open to the entire web, but local pickup would be an option so you could load up your shopping cart at work and just swing by and pick up your grist on the way home.
3. Brewing app/software. Folks who come and brew in person will be trained in using our free web-based brewing software which features paid addons for more advanced needs.
I know breweries sometimes offer services like this, so I would love to hear any and all tales about your experiences if you've checked stuff like this out. What works? What doesn't? Do I seem to be missing anything major from the general plan here? Oh, and for contexts sake, I am a web designer currently working at a large online retailer - the brewing software is currently 90% done.
Looking forward to you tearing this idea apart thanks for any advice you feel is relevant!