Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > How much does it cost to brew at the 3bbl level?
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:06 AM   #11
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Guh? I can get both cheaper than that and I don't pay wholesale. My LHBS will sell me a 50# bag for $38, and if I'm willing to drive another 10-15 minutes farther, I can get one for $35. I know some guys who have a local brewery here and they say they pay a bit over $27 for a 50# bag shipped which comes out to around $0.55/pound by my calculations.
For base malt that is true. Specialty grain costs more.


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Old 10-01-2009, 12:30 AM   #12
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Gordie, How does your small brewery do as far as sales go?


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Old 10-01-2009, 12:37 AM   #13
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Hey there. I'm a lawyer with my own licensed and bonded brewery in my garage with a 1bbl brewhouse. I've been legal and selling as a nanobrewer for over a year and a half. There's no legal minimum amount or minimum sized equipment.
Thanks for the Info, Is there a difference between a Brew pub, and a small brew house? I see there is a license difference. Are there different requirements?
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:05 AM   #14
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Well, I've reached that point in a young girl's life when she starts daydreaming about opening her own brewery...
You made my day.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:18 AM   #15
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Thanks for the Info, Is there a difference between a Brew pub, and a small brew house? I see there is a license difference. Are there different requirements?
Brewpubs serve food.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:24 AM   #16
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The license authorizes the sale of beer,
wine, and distilled spirits for consumption on the premises, and the
sale of beer produced by the brewpub-restaurant licensee for
consumption on the premises.
A brewpub's beer must be consumed on the premises. A brewery would be able to distribute the beer it produces.
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:51 AM   #17
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Brewpubs serve food.
I mean the legal differences.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:22 PM   #18
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Hey there. Yeah, $0.70 a lb for grain is kind of a blended average. The Pilsner malt I use is $0.63 and the Maris Otter is $0.72. Some Breiss stuff is less and the suppliers vary. Go to http://brewerssupplygroup.com/ and call the most local distribution center and ask them to send you a price list.

Bsquared - In California the license you would need for a small brewery, brew pub or taproom is the same. A Type 23 license lets you brew up to 80,000 bbl, and operate a tap room or brewpub on the premises. There's more licensing and regulations and whatnot if you're going to be serving food and everything but the alcohol license is the same.

Hey Skins Brew. Sales are good. In fact, all my beer has been sold or allocated before I've released it. I'm thinking about raising prices. I don't have an inventory and because of my size and the fact that I'm personally selling, delivering and whatnot, everyone has been cool with cash on delivery. My biggest problem is I don't have the time (and fermentor space) to make more beer... and I also run into the issue of "well, should I tap that for something to drink in-house or should I sell it..." and I've been running out of beer at home. I'm thinking I'm going to keep a keg on tap and maybe fill growlers or something for the neighbors.

Ultimately, breweries have been around since the dawn of civilization and brewpubs since someone at the dawn of civilization got the munchies at a brewery. Its a solid business concept. The problems happen when the plan formation and execution goes off the rails. There's no one way to build and run a business, but before starting its essential to understand - comprehensively - what you want out of the business and where you're going with it.

I'm happily doing my 1 bbl thing and its working for me for the time being. The program I'm running wouldn't work for most people. It will never allow me to quit my day job but it isn't intended to. I'm cash-positive and running a small business out of my garage is better for my soul than spending that time playing World of Warcraft (been there... had an intervention and had to go...). You can't drink World of Warcraft. I'm running a specific game plan and I've avoided getting ahead of myself, spending to much or basically diverting from what I thought originally was a good idea. I'm going to run this plan for at least another year and then think of what other options are out there. In the meantime, I'm making a profit, hanging out with some truly great folks in the beer business and learning a lot about being an entrepreneur while still being able to spend a lot of time at home with my family. For the time being, that works for me - its actually what I intended to do when I started thinking about all this. If you're going to travel down this road - think about where you want to end up when the pieces are in place and you're doing the day to day after building the program that you want to run. Then walk it all backwards and figure out how you should start. You can absolutely make it work, it just takes time, sweat, and proper planning.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:46 PM   #19
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This is great to read, Gordie. It's not easy finding someone with actual experience doing the nanobrewing thing.

So I crunched some imaginary numbers last night, and figured that a 3bbl batch, bottled, would cost about $500 in consumables (including bottles, and yes, I know bottles are a PITA). At a whopping $10 per six pack, and about 130 six packs, that'd mean I'd sell the 3bbls for about $1200 (after I took a few cases for myself, of course! ). That's not much of a "profit" (in quotes because of course that's not really a profit at all, with equipment costs and labor).

However, if I sold the same 3bbls in 22oz bombers... I've seen plenty of bomber-only breweries charging $8-$10 a bottle. I'm sure we all have, right? And this would be very unique, small-batch stuff I'd be brewing, exactly the kind of thing beer snobs are always hunting for.

So yeah, if I'm doing the math right, the same 3bbls in bombers would be 500 bottles (again keeping some for myself), which at $8 a bottle would be $4000! Which would be a very healthy profit off $500 in consumables (which might be even less with half the number of bottles, caps, and labels needed).

Am I right? Cause that sounds pretty darn sweet!
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:15 PM   #20
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where in LA do you get a 50# bag for $38 and $35?


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