I work in the 2nd oldest BOP in the US, we opened in August of 1995. We've seen many failures,from companies we've trained to former customers trying to open up their own BOP. I've had the opportunity to visit a few BOP'S as well and while the reasons for them failing might all be different, the main contributing factors that I've seen have been: wrong location,underfunded,wrong approach to the business(marketing and customer base)....the two things that I've seen firsthand that I know for a fact played a part were lack of sanitation(bad image) and owners not understanding the amount of work that is needed. I can tell you first hand that it's not all standing around talking to customers and drinking beer.Just like the commerical brewing industry it's cleaning,cleaning,cleaning.I've been been to BOP'S that hadn't painted their floors since the opened,had days worth of dishes in their sink and when you touched anything in the place your hand stuck to it.You wouldn't eat there if it were a restaurant,so why would anyone want to brew beer there.To be honest, I think the commericial brewing industry is easier to work in then the BOP because for the most part you can specialize more.By all means I'm not saying anyoen can open a brewery and be successful,but usually you're not asked to do everything in the brewery.I often use the analogy of working in a restaurant to working in a BOP, because you are the host,the waiter,the busboy,the dishwasher,the cook,the bartender and the janitor. You have to be faceted in all aspects of the business, because of that I think it's not the business for everyone. How often do *most*(I'm generalizing just so that everyone is clear) brewers have to brew beer,answer the phone,greet a walk-in customer, and unload a delivery truck all at the same time? That can be typical for a busy BOP,it is atleast in our case. If it were me I'd open a beer bar before I'd open a brewery, because I don't feel there's a lack of quality beer out there,but a lack of places serving it and willing to educate people about it. As far as opening a BOP, i have no interest in it, I'd sooner lay all my money on the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series,becuase the odds of succeeding are probbaly higher.
Franklin's Restaurant,Brewery & General Store