It's sad because you know that someone out there tried their best to get exactly that up and running. I always wondered what the main cause (besides lack of sales) or brewery failures is.
My thought exactly.
I'm certainly no expert, but I can't see a microbrewery restaurant alone making it. You'd need to have some sort of commitment from local liquor/grocery stores to stock your product on their shelves in order to make enough money from the distribution side of the business.
I think the restaurant/bar portion of the business would only be a break-even affair that has the side benefit of getting people interested in your brews. There are so many fixed costs with the brewery that it would take along time to recoup them solely on a $5 pint of beer and a $10 burger.
There are so many fixed costs with the brewery that it would take along time to recoup them solely on a $5 pint of beer and a $10 burger.
That right there is the main reason for so many failures in any venture. People are passionate about the beer, but fail on two fronts. First, the business plan is usually seen as a side point, a check in the box to get things going. Without paying it serious attention and putting serious effort into it many places fail.
The second reason and probably the larger reason is that it does take a while before you start to turn any type of profit. From the reading and research that I have done it appears that most people source the money to start the business and maybe have a little bit left over. Once they realize that they are going to be operating in the red for a significant period of time the business folds. I think I saw that on average you need to plan another source of actual income for at least two years in order to allow yourself enough time to start turning enough profit to even think about living on it.
Sorry about the sidebar!
"There are no mistakes in brewing - there are only limited-edition specials"
Having been in retail food business I can tell you from personal experience how tough it is. I was able to find a greater fool to buy it from me after a year of torture. I had the advantage of a strong business and accounting background, not sure how those who don't can survive it. I have had several people ask me to get involved in a brewpub and I usually laugh a bit and say if you put up all the cash I am interested otherwise forget about it.
i'm a few months short of 2 years deep into my current business. i was in the red for 9 months. completely in the red. and i got lucky making it out and now everythign is good....
this looks so nice though. the only other thing i know half about in IL is that its really really tough to get distributorship. you dont just go to the local grocery store and bar and ask them to buy stuff from you. they are only allowed to sell alcohol they purchase from a licensed distributor. you have to sell to the distributor first, and they might not buy from you if you only have two or 3 styles. also they set some strange minimums on things.
"Oh you want 5 bbls of Honker's Ale? Then you have the buy 7 bbls of Rogue Yellow Snow.. Whats that? No one likes Yellow Snow becuase its a crap beer and you wont be able to sell it? Well to bad, you have to buy it if you want the Honerks..."
this i half understand from owners of local bars i frequent
so i can only imagine its hard to sell to them too. if i understand it correct, Two Brothers created their own distributor becuase they couldnt get any of the established ones to sell their product.
also, we dont get Stone in IL. Bell's stopped selling to IL for a few years becuase Larry Bell got mad at dealing with the distributors so he just pulled all sales to IL... from the little bit i hear- its heavily 'politically' influenced and seniority and bs take the upper hand when it comes to dealing with the distributor. i even heard a rumor that one the main reasons 3 Floyds opened just over the border in Indiana is becuase they knew it would be easier to use the IN distributors than the IL ones... just something i hear around town...
anyways take all that for what its worth, just some local bar rat (me) talking to friend's i've made running bars here downtown, and sounds like its no walk in the park to brew and sell your own beer in IL..
either way the equpitment looks great and who wants to go in on buying it with me? we can get started brewing 1600 gallons like maybe...this weekend?
Fermenting: 12g Elevated Line California Lager Kegged: Elevated Line Toast IPA, Founder's Breakfast Stout Clone, Elevated Line Blonde, Elevated Line Christmas Molasses Porter On Deck: Death by Dunkel, Mango Lambic?, Barleywine, Wheat, Cali Lager, Pilsner, Honey Porter, etc., etc...