Who here works in or owns a brewery?

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TxBrew

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Anyone actively working in or own a commercial brewery?
 

jdauria

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Seems like 1/2 my club works in. or used to work in breweries, from head brewers down to tank monkeys, but don't know if any of them are on HBT.
 

matt_m

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My employer is currently working in several of North America’s largest commercial breweries but I only have a small part in one.
 

Qhrumphf

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I've been working at various places of various sizes for a good number of years now. Never owned, wouldn't want to, at least not solo. I'm a good brewer but not so much in business, sales, marketing. A business partnership as co-owner in charge of product with a partner running the business side, well I might be open to that.
 

petersongod

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I have a private house and I have a small brewery. We live in the village, so I make a brew for myself and sell it to the neighbours. It is a kind of family business. You can purchase brewing equipment with the smallest capacity (1 barrel, which is 31 gallons of beer, equal to 320 12-ounce beers) for $100,000 or less if you buy it used. You will also need kettles, kegs, etc, but I saved a lot of money because I found some good sets on aliexpress with the help of this browser extension. It helps to find the best sellers and the best prices.
 

Monmouth00

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I have a private house and I have a small brewery. We live in the village, so I make a brew for myself and sell it to the neighbours. It is a kind of family business. You can purchase brewing equipment with the smallest capacity (1 barrel, which is 31 gallons of beer, equal to 320 12-ounce beers) for $100,000 or less if you buy it used. You will also need kettles, kegs, etc, but I saved a lot of money because I found some good sets on aliexpress with the help of this browser extension. It helps to find the best sellers and the best prices.
A $100,000.00 for a used 1 Bbl systems seems like a lot, no?

There's a complete 7 Bbl used system for sale on pro-brewer for $65,000.00
 

VikeMan

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My guess is he may not be talking about US dollars. There's no state in the US where you can brew in your house and sell your beer to the neighbors.
 

Gozie Boy

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I do. My Wife and I own a brewpub with a nano brewery and full service bar.
Cool. Could you briefly share a little about it? Size, clientele, most popular beers, etc. What's gone better/worse than expected? What does your typical day/week look like? Thx!
 

50calshooter

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Cool. Could you briefly share a little about it? Size, clientele, most popular beers, etc. What's gone better/worse than expected? What does your typical day/week look like? Thx!
Uncle Bob's Brewpub
1851 N Hwy CC
Nixa, Missouri (pop 22K)

About 1800 sq feet
35 seats with a max occupancy of 67
The brewery is a 10 gallon system I bought as a turn key from High Gravity Brewing in Tulsa
It uses the 220v 30 amp Wort Hog controller
I have three 14 gallon conical fermenters and two 7 gallon conicals from SS Brewtech
I own about 31 sixth barrel kegs. We do not bottle, can, or fill growlers.
I cant afford a commercial keg cleaner/filler so I invented one that purges and sanitizes. I gravity fill the kegs.
I have three keg boxes for a total of 15 faucets plus we carry all the other beers too. Any commercial beer a well stocked tavern would have. I can force carbonate 5 kegs at a time. I only make ales
In addition to having a brewery license I have a liquor license so we carry a large selection of spirits.
We do not serve any food, but you are welcome to bring it in or get it delivered. No smoking, vaping, or e-cigs and no one under 21. No outdoor facilities.
It has the feel of an old school neighborhood tavern.

The brewery portion is out in the open with the bar so on brew day patrons come in to see and smell the process.
I brew on Monday and Thursday. Sometimes I brew a third day, depends on business. When we opened a little over a year ago I was brewing 40 gallons a month. Now I brew 80-110 gallons a month. We were open seven days and we were shut down for one month due to the covid pandemic.
We have Live acoustic music on Fridays. Nothing bigger then a duo.
I have a pool table, a digital jukebox, a video game that is like a slot machine that pays out, and Missouri lottery with KENO. I have a 70" TV and two 40" TVs with standard Direct TV package. No Sports packages and no NFL packages. We are not a sports bar we are a neighborhood tavern/brewpub so we chose it that way.

We have a very blue collar clientele. We are open Mon-Sat 3:00pm till close. Usually closed by 9p on weekdays with Friday and Saturday going the distance to 1:00am. My Wife and I do it all. No employees but on scheduled brew days (mon, thurs) a bartender comes in at 4 and works for tips till close. I use to do double shifts on brew day but now I just brew and leave.

We bought a failed biker bar and redid the space to be our brewpub. I did all the work including the electrical for the brewery area. It took a few months for the old customers to realize the change and roll out into the atmosphere we wanted. I started homebrewing 13 years ago, then started bootlegging to bars ten years ago, then went legit. It took several decades to save the money to do it but our business remains debt free.

Right now the three top selling Uncle Bob's beers are The Peppercorn Pale Ale, Kolsch, Witbier.
Business has grown faster then we expected. On the "worse then" side I'd have to say I wasn't expecting to sell out of product as fast as we do. But my customers like the small batch hand made idea and understand.
Typical day? Monday/Thursday I go in about 9a brew, open at 3, cover for an hour, then have a couple beers with customers and go home. Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat we work our ass off cleaning, tending bar, booking talent, paying bills, solving problems, and everything else that comes with owning a business with no employees. Home by 2a on Fri/Sat and unpredictable the rest of the time but always by 11p.

I've never owned a business before. I am 61 and happier then I've ever been in my life.
Brewing for a living means I said buy to brewing with my friends on Saturdays. When you go pro it is no longer about what you like to drink. It is about what the public will pay for.

You don't have to start with a big brew house or start in debt. Start small and grow into the size you want to be.

I think right now my beers on tap are:
Cream Ale
Wheat
Pale Ale
Witbier
Honey Wheat
Bock
Nut Brown
Coffee Stout
Peppercorn Pale Ale
Strawberry Rhubarb IPA
Irish Brown
Cherry stout

I keep Blue Moon and Guinness on with a local sour too.

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