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Old 02-01-2013, 07:19 PM   #21
Cape Brewing
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Thanks for the write up, and good luck with everything! I hope this question isn't inappropriate, but would you mind sharing a rough estimate on capital it took to get you where you were today, and what percentage was personal funds vs loans? If you don't want to share no worries. I've always been interested in starting something like this, but really have no idea on the potential costs associated with startup at this point...
That's almost an impossible question to answer because there are SO many factors that come into play...

What will your space cost you? Our space is INSANELY cheap... about $450 a month utlities included...

BUT... we needed to replace a ton of our equipment... instead of the amazing stand my partner fabricated, we needed to buy new burners and stands that ran us over $2k all in.

so... again... it's going to vary dramatically by what your individual town's inspectors are going to let fly.

That said... I would be thinking tens of thousands instead of tens of hundreds.

You could probably swing it for $20k if you got really lucky.


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Old 02-01-2013, 07:19 PM   #22
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I'm sure it can be done but I can't imagine how difficult that road has been. He must be brewing several times a week with a massive fermenter space capacity.

Our hope is that we basically took our start up costs, dumped it in as a total loss and will make subsequent investments... hopefully... offset to some significant extent by whatever money we can make on the little 1.5 bbl system in the mean time.

We'll see.

The nice thing about our little adventure is that we went into this situation thinking, "if we lose every penny, will it be THAT big of a deal"... and the answer has always been "no". Don't get me wrong... we don't have cash to just light on fire and we sure as hell aren't looking to LOSE money... but if this thing goes south, we'll just divide up the equipment amongst ourselves, brew with it out of our houses, and chalk it up as a fun experiment.
If I remember right he was averaging 6 days a week brewing. He hit the point where demand exceeded production very quickly and had quite a few fermenters going and was using 1007 German yeast as his main yeast for eveerything so quick fermentation and then an average 6 week aging process from what I remember.


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Old 02-01-2013, 07:22 PM   #23
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Damn, now you've got me thinking about this again. What do you ferment in? What is your weekly brew capicity?
We only have four 55 gallon fermenters and that is really our largest capacity restraint. And it isn't the fermenters themselves but rather the space we are in... in that we can't FIT anymore fermenters.

As it is now though, we're brewing, pretty much once a week as well as all of the usual maintenance so our capacity is, back of the envelope, about 45 gallons per week.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:26 PM   #24
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If I remember right he was averaging 6 days a week brewing. He hit the point where demand exceeded production very quickly and had quite a few fermenters going and was using 1007 German yeast as his main yeast for eveerything so quick fermentation and then an average 6 week aging process from what I remember.
yeah, we're actually over capacity right now as well... we have standing orders already we can't fill but it is a matter of the situation very quickly becoming "business decisions" vs "brewing decisions"...

In order for us to increase capacity, we need more space in the very short term. We could simply take on more space and line up more fermenters but how long is that sustainable? Do we take on space and the expense of more fermenters or just hold off and move to a larger space and a larger system altogether in 6-8 months? How much is that going to cost? how are we going to pay for it?

We've only been "pros" for a few weeks so do we really want to expand before we've techically sold even our first drop?

there's a lot to it.

Hell... if we take on more space, do the three of us (all three are dads with two younger kids each)... do we want to be spending every waking free moment in the brewery?
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:34 PM   #25
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Sounds like you need to hire someone with older kids that can act as a dedicated brewer...cough cough
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:38 PM   #26
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Sounds like you need to hire someone with older kids that can act as a dedicated brewer...cough cough
Haha... sure... if you would like to relocate from Washington and work for 25% of whatever profit we make... you're IN!!!!

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:40 PM   #27
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Haha... sure... if you would like to relocate from Washington and work for 25% of whatever profit we make... you're IN!!!!

If I could afford to do the move I would definitley be down for that no doubt, but something tells me that living in Mass is a bit more spendy than I can afford to do right now.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:42 PM   #28
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We only have four 55 gallon fermenters and that is really our largest capacity restraint. And it isn't the fermenters themselves but rather the space we are in... in that we can't FIT anymore fermenters.

As it is now though, we're brewing, pretty much once a week as well as all of the usual maintenance so our capacity is, back of the envelope, about 45 gallons per week.
Man, that's gotta be tough. I've been going over some plans in my head for a couple years now. I wouldn't even consider pulling the trigger unless I could pump out a minimum of 3 bbls per week. But, like you said in your last couple posts, you need fermenters, space for same and yes, on a small system you will be spending way too much time brewing. I brew 1 bbl batches at home by myself (most of the time) and I really can't imagine doing that 3 times per week on top of everything else. My average brew day is 12-14 hours after clean up and that's with preparation the day before. Granted I could shave 3 hours off of that since I usually split my wort into two boils because I don't want to make 30 gallons of the same beer, but still. I wish you luck. Keep us posted on the progress.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:43 PM   #29
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I don't know if you mentioned it or not but do you guys have a tasting/tap room? IMO that is where a nano can be profitable. You can sell your beer to a bar for 1.50 a pint(maybe) or sell it yourself for 5.00 a pint (easy). 1bbl of beer sold in a taproom comes out to 1600+ dollars income. The same amount sold in keg form to other bars only equals 420 dollars (maybe). Plus it eliminates a big expense...kegs/tap handles.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:43 PM   #30
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Sounds like you need to hire someone with older kids that can act as a dedicated brewer...cough cough
Well he said they would be making about $400 a month to split between 3 guys. I bet if you move across country and work for $100 a month with no benifits they might hire you


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