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oldwarrior86

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**Meant Go ahead**

I just started homebrewing and I am hooked. My dream would be to own a small nano-micro brewery and make just enough to pay all my bills and send my kids to college. (Maybe throw in a island/fishing trip a couple times a year...) There it is....my dream. Now if I could just figure out how to brew a nice summer beer and figure out how much it would cost to start up......I would be in good shape! :mug:

During these economic times....why can't a man dream?
 

Ceedubya

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stop it, if you keep talkin about dreaming things like this then I'm gonna start daydreaming about things like this. Then, I'll get fired from my job and I'll have to go live my dream....

wait, maybe thats not so bad :mug:
 

z987k

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**Meant Go ahead**

I just started homebrewing and I am hooked. My dream would be to own a small nano-micro brewery and make just enough to pay all my bills and send my kids to college. (Maybe throw in a island/fishing trip a couple times a year...) There it is....my dream. Now if I could just figure out how to brew a nice summer beer and figure out how much it would cost to start up......I would be in good shape! :mug:

During these economic times....why can't a man dream?
$200,000 is a good starting point.
 

dontman

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$200,000 is a good starting point.
+1 to this amount. Get you set up with a decent nanobrewery with production capabilities that would allow you some time to actually sell the product.
 

mrpinkbunny

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I couldn't laugh at this, I've not even tasted my first brew and this thought has already crossed my mind.
 

rth97601

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Nano is the perfect size--that way all of us can start one without stepping on each other's toes (yes, I've entertained the same notion myself ...). Wouldn't it be great to have nano- and micro-breweries in every neighborhood? Think of the variety and accessibility.

Wait a sec ... I'm having a thought here ...
 
OP
O

oldwarrior86

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+1 to this amount. Get you set up with a decent nanobrewery with production capabilities that would allow you some time to actually sell the product.
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dontman....are you saying 1.2 Million? Because that is depressing! ;) I would have to empty out my chain jar for the additional million.

Don't tempt me with 200k....I might be able to find that amount. :) The question would then become, how much could you earn? (Assuming you are a good sales guy...which I believe I am.) ;)
 

sirsloop

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If it were me I would open a brewpub and selling food... location is key though! Gotta find the right town with the right needs.
 

StoutFan

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+1 to the brewpub idea. It will allow you to gain extra income from the food side while getting a great base for beer sales.
 

dontman

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200K as a bare minimum start up for a brewery. This would get you the brewing and storage and packaging equipment and the site and the mods and the licensing. Bare bones only mind you. Plus maybe 3-6 months running capital.

Even as I type this I think 200K would be very much the minimum. The problem is that it could be 9 months after you started the first batch before you saw any substantial revenue. And you would be hemorrhaging cash the whole time. And I mean severed artery hemorrhage.

As far as brewpub add $500K for outfitting and licensing a working restaurant, including fancy digs and especially, this is important, the 1 bbl showpiece brew set up in additional to your back room production equipment. You know what I mean, right? The one with all the brass and copper behind glass that the customers can look at while eating. Minimum $50K. Advantage with brewpub. Instant cash flow. Could be a huge advantage. Very hard to keep customers coming in the door of any restaurant for very long though. What, 2-3 year lifespan on even successful places?

Get in, set it on fire, get out. As they say.
 

blue_bmw2

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The dream sounds good to me!!! you ahve to let us know how it turns out!
 

SourHopHead

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Sounds good to me. Follow your dream! I got pushed to follow mine and just finished my Apprenticeship for the ABG. 200K does seem low. I talked with one of the local brewers I know and we think 500K is a better number, but we don't know.

Talked to a guy last Thursday about it and I was just upstairs at work taking to another guy about this and he started thinking and making calls. We'll discuss it further Friday.
 

McKBrew

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Come on guys, haven't you all seen that wireless commercial where the dude says "You can brew it", and the brewer says, "Yeah, but can you sell it?" All it takes is a cell phone and some snazzy background music and you can live the dream.

I would honestly say that 90% of us have a dream of running a brewery/brewpub. For most of us it'll be just that, but for a select few it will or it has become a reality. If you haven't done so all ready search for and read "Don't Try this at Home", by Brewpastor.

I don't know if I'll ever live the brewing dream, but opening an LHBS or specialty store is also on my mind.
 

SourHopHead

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I would honestly say that 90% of us have a dream of running a brewery/brewpub. For most of us it'll be just that, but for a select few it will or it has become a reality. If you haven't done so all ready search for and read "Don't Try this at Home", by Brewpastor.

I don't know if I'll ever live the brewing dream, but opening an LHBS or specialty store is also on my mind.
I am hoping he'll show up to a Dukes of Ale meeting, so I can pick his brain.
 

BubbaK

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I thought about it a different way... I'd love to open a LHBS... For the folks in NJ, they know how many places there are to buy stuff... a good local store would probably do pretty good. I just don't have the knowledge to run a place like that (or the $$)... but it would be pretty cool..
 

bennychico11

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Come on guys, haven't you all seen that wireless commercial where the dude says "You can brew it", and the brewer says, "Yeah, but can you sell it?" All it takes is a cell phone and some snazzy background music and you can live the dream.

hahah, hilarious
"We gotta celebrate..."
"We gotta expand"
not only that, but try and notice all the subtle "reception bars" in the background. Like stacked grain bags and such.



There's a thread around here somewhere of a guy talking about his experience with starting up a brewery. It's a great read actually. And will snap you back to reality.

But I can't say I haven't thought of the idea of doing something like that. I had lunch with a friend of mine the other day who said she's been wanting to get out and start some business of her own soon...and it got me thinking more. Still, I live in KC and there are at least 5 other big name local breweries around here I'd be competing with (one of them a couple blocks from my own house).
Not only that, but I probably need to learn the step to AG brewing first ;)
Le sigh
 

BKmyWAY

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Nano is the perfect size--that way all of us can start one without stepping on each other's toes (yes, I've entertained the same notion myself ...). Wouldn't it be great to have nano- and micro-breweries in every neighborhood? Think of the variety and accessibility.

Wait a sec ... I'm having a thought here ...


Oh what the world of beer must have been like 100 years ago...breaking the seal has a whole new set of annoyances if you have to go to an outhouse....
 

z987k

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200K as a bare minimum start up for a brewery. This would get you the brewing and storage and packaging equipment and the site and the mods and the licensing. Bare bones only mind you. Plus maybe 3-6 months running capital.

Even as I type this I think 200K would be very much the minimum. The problem is that it could be 9 months after you started the first batch before you saw any substantial revenue. And you would be hemorrhaging cash the whole time. And I mean severed artery hemorrhage.

As far as brewpub add $500K for outfitting and licensing a working restaurant, including fancy digs and especially, this is important, the 1 bbl showpiece brew set up in additional to your back room production equipment. You know what I mean, right? The one with all the brass and copper behind glass that the customers can look at while eating. Minimum $50K. Advantage with brewpub. Instant cash flow. Could be a huge advantage. Very hard to keep customers coming in the door of any restaurant for very long though. What, 2-3 year lifespan on even successful places?

Get in, set it on fire, get out. As they say.
I swear we have this thread once a week.

As far as the 1bbl brewery, it has been shown time and time again that there is damn near no way to 1)ever really become profitable, which leads to.. 2)ever live off of what you make.

I do think that with 200k, you could go bigger than nano though, especially if you did like a taphouse only. I mean you can get a 7bbl system for around 60-70k used.

Seriously though, if anyone out there opens a nano brewery, I'd like you to call me in a year or two when you run out of capital and have worked your ass to the bone for 365 12 hour days straight. I might be interested in your brewing equipment at 1/4 what you paid for it. I think it'd make for the start a sweet brewshed.
 

McKBrew

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Seems like a lot of dream smashing going on here lately too. Kind of like a brewing version of a cock block.
 

z987k

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Seems like a lot of dream smashing going on here lately too. Kind of like a brewing version of a cock block.
Well I guess there are a few of us that live in reality. Not saying I don't dream of it to... and if I had a large fortune to piss away I would totally do it. It just seems like people don't do any research into their "dream" and have no idea what it would entail.

Plus.. honestly does everyone think their beer is good enough? I can't say for people on here, except that people who don't brew AG yet are years away, because I have never tasted your beer. However from our local club, there are not many people that can make a consistent good product. I know I can't.

But hey if you can produce a consistently kick ass product, and can scrounge 200k-1mil depending on what you're doing and how big you want to start, go for it. We can always use more breweries that make awesome beer.
 

KYB

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I figure it's many peoples dream here. I have wanted to do a brewpub for years. I just actually started brewing and want to 10x more. My friend really wants to as well. He is working on a business degree and I am working on a Mechanical Engineering degree. Hoping to make some decent money doing that, save up and start one with some help. Only time will tell. It's actually not really so much a dream as it's a goal. In the mean time, I will brew my own beer at my house and have labels and logos for the novelty, and even a little push/reminder.
 

Bob

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Seems like a lot of dream smashing going on here lately too. Kind of like a brewing version of a cock block.
I'd rather cock-block a daydreamer than see him file some chapter of bankruptcy because no one did cock-block him.

This business is tough enough for established breweries. It's almost suicide to start up, unless you're an exponentially better business-person than a brewer. Brewers are almost invariably lousy business-people. Do the math.

Sorry. It is what it is.

Bob
 

Berlbrew

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I'd rather cock-block a daydreamer than see him file some chapter of bankruptcy because no one did cock-block him.

This business is tough enough for established breweries. It's almost suicide to start up, unless you're an exponentially better business-person than a brewer. Brewers are almost invariably lousy business-people. Do the math.

Sorry. It is what it is.

Bob
Hey Bob, is brewery consulting your primary occupation? Or is it something you do on the side because you have the knowledge/expertise? How often do brewers come to you for help attaining the dream?

I imagine starting up a brewery is an interesting career decision, but consulting folks who want to start a brewery? Could be just as interesting...
 

beerocd

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Well I guess there are a few of us that live in reality. Not saying I don't dream of it to... and if I had a large fortune to piss away I would totally do it. It just seems like people don't do any research into their "dream" and have no idea what it would entail.
Anyone in the food business knows the answer to this one:
Q: How do you make a small fortune in the restaurant business?
A: Start with a large one.

I've had 2 micros close down within 10 miles of my house since December. Having said that I still think one day.... Although I would totally go the hole in the wall route. The places that closed down looked spectacular - lots of money spent on looks, especially now, people will overlook decor for quality and value.

-OCD
 

StunnedMonkey

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As far as the 1bbl brewery, it has been shown time and time again that there is damn near no way to 1)ever really become profitable, which leads to.. 2)ever live off of what you make.
That would be my thought. Some simple math (which I'm too lazy to do) would probably demonstrate that it'd be darn near impossible to brew and sell beer on such a small scale and generate the sort of profit required to make a decent living and put kids through college. I mean, unless you're charging $10 a bottle. That better be some tasty brew.

To the OP, I'm not saying don't do it (or maybe I am) but if you pursure something like this you'd better be prepared to lose. Of course that's pretty much the same as any business venture. The only ones who win are the ones who aren't afraid to lose.
 

McKBrew

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Yeah, I know. I figure we are here to bolster the dream, because it is typically just a dream. I would honestly hope that before someone went and tried to start a business they'd really look into it and not just follow a bunch of people telling them to go for it who have never even tasted the product.

Me personally, I know my beer is far from professional quality. I've never brewed the same thing twice yet, and while I think my beer is good, I'm honest enough to pick out the flaws in it.

Still for every forum member who has the dream, the chances are that a few will make it. If you have the time, resources, money and are willing to take the gamble then you should go for it. I honestly expect to see another HBT member starting up a brewpub like Brewtopia in the next few years or so.
 

PavlovsCat

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My dream is a slightly more simple one - to just be able to live off the grid: power, water, food, transportation, BEER. Right now the BEER is the easiest one. But someday...........
 
OP
O

oldwarrior86

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So....as I stated, it is simply a dream. I love the fact people get pissed off that others have dreams and feel compelled to destroy them. People start and fail at all types of businesses....the beer business is no different. The dream of the entrepreneur is one of pain and sacrifice, but the end goal is always attainable. It is a matter of how far are you willing to push the envelope. Right now, I'm not ready....but.....I still have a dream of doing it again one day. (This will be my third company) Maybe it is beer, or maybe it is something else.....but damn....making beer is really fun.

I have had many people provide me with the pragmatic reasons why things won't work or why I shouldn't do things. Most of the times they were right, but often they were very wrong. It seems that individuals personal fears of 'risk taking' results in telling others that 'it can't be done'.

If you have a dream.....live it. Just make sure you have a back up dream/plan to survive should things go sideways. :)
 

farmbrewernw

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I've been thinking about mixing a bakery with a brewery lately, could be fun and an interesting combination. By the way I'm down with the living off the grid gig, I would love to do that in Alaska.
 

PavlovsCat

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So....as I stated, it is simply a dream. I love the fact people get pissed off that others have dreams and feel compelled to destroy them. People start and fail at all types of businesses....the beer business is no different. The dream of the entrepreneur is one of pain and sacrifice, but the end goal is always attainable. It is a matter of how far are you willing to push the envelope. Right now, I'm not ready....but.....I still have a dream of doing it again one day. (This will be my third company) Maybe it is beer, or maybe it is something else.....but damn....making beer is really fun.

I have had many people provide me with the pragmatic reasons why things won't work or why I shouldn't do things. Most of the times they were right, but often they were very wrong. It seems that individuals personal fears of 'risk taking' results in telling others that 'it can't be done'.

If you have a dream.....live it. Just make sure you have a back up dream/plan to survive should things go sideways. :)
Go for it. If every inventor or entrepeneur listened to the nay sayers, we'd still be trying to invent the wheel. And didn't someone famous once say that it's the journey, not the destination that counts?
 

farmbrewernw

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You know the funny thing is yesterday I was reading some self help blog about figuring out what you really want to do as a career (I hate my job and my career) and the guy talked about how a person and the people around them will talk them out of pursuing their dream job. Why? Because we all think it's too hard and we don't sit down and think about how we could make it work. There are some nano-breweries up here such as Heater Allen that are doing well, are they getting rich doing it, no, but if that's your goal your in the wrong buissiness. A lot of us have already fell into that "I have to make as much money as I can" trap and we want to get out. I say if you have some capital, a willingness to work hard, and a dream you should be able to do it, don't have the delusion that you'll get rich but know that if you work hard you can enjoy your life.
 

MaynardX

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Being a chef, I've been wanting to open my own restaurant for awhile. Recently, I've been thinking (aka "dreaming") about opening a small place serving my 2 favorite foods....BBQ and Pizza!!!! To go along with this, I was thinking about putting 3-4 homebrews on tap. I wouldn't exactly call it a brewery, but I think it would help attract that "brewery" crowd. Definitly won't happen anytime soon, so I guess I'll have to keep dreaming....
 

TexasSpartan

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I'd rather cock-block a daydreamer than see him file some chapter of bankruptcy because no one did cock-block him.

This business is tough enough for established breweries. It's almost suicide to start up, unless you're an exponentially better business-person than a brewer. Brewers are almost invariably lousy business-people. Do the math.

Sorry. It is what it is.

Bob
I have no experience in being a brewer, I'd have to figure you probably end up spending more time being a business owner and less time as a brewer.
 

z987k

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I have no experience in being a brewer, I'd have to figure you probably end up spending more time being a business owner and less time as a brewer.
You do, and that is another reason a nano brewery can't make it. If you even spend 50% of your time brewing I don't think you're not going to make it.
 

Bob

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Hey Bob, is brewery consulting your primary occupation? Or is it something you do on the side because you have the knowledge/expertise? How often do brewers come to you for help attaining the dream?

I imagine starting up a brewery is an interesting career decision, but consulting folks who want to start a brewery? Could be just as interesting...
It's my secondary occupation, but it runs a close second. I'm quite busy, currently. In terms of frequency, it runs hot and cold. Right now I've a half-dozen things at different levels of movement.

Consulting gives one the thrill of startup over and over again. It's really quite exciting! You get to be involved in a project from (often) concept to opening the taps, and not only do you not have to pay anything, people pay you. What really is fun is when I get called in to examine process and quality; it's not often one gets to tell another professional UR DOIN IT RONG. :D

Bob
 
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