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Thread: Wholesale vs Retail Sales Percentages?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    24

    Wholesale vs Retail Sales Percentages?

    Working on numbers and I was wondering if there are any breweries out there willing to volunteer what percentages of sales is retail vs wholesale (i.e. 60/40, 80/20, etc) for their operations. Thanks for any help!

    Matt Swan
    Tumbledown Brewing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    205
    It depends what you want to have it to be.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirsty_Monk View Post
    It depends what you want to have it to be.
    Thanks--I am aware that I can make it whatever I want it to be, but I am trying to write up my business plan and also determine what I will be needing for tanks, so I could use some definite numbers from people to steer me in the right direction.

    Matt
    Tumbledown Brewing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,092
    I think this is a very unique situation to each brewery. How much do you wish to sell to a distributor or on premise?
    The point being, YOU need to decide what sort of animal you will create. Unfortunately, you won't have much control over what a distributor will or won't do. For planning sake, determine your system's production max cap, how much you can actually produce, and then assign how much you THINK will go where. Readjust after nine months in business.
    Truly, best of luck to you.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bainbridge Island, WA
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    411
    As mentioned, it depends heavily on what you want it to be. If you're a brewpub, then it can be 100%/0%. But if you're a smallish brewery with a taproom and self-distributing locally, then I say flexibility is the key. We went with kegging all our beer, rather than brites in the taproom (which would save us a lot of keg washing, lifting and swapping), so that if sales were slow in the taproom we'd have more to distribute, and if distribution was slow and the taproom was hot, we'd get them back in service quickly. Ultimately we're about 50/50 right now, but we're currently working out what we want it to go to from here.

    I'd also add: don't starve the taproom. If you've got ten kegs of Crowd Favorite IPA left, and you go through five a week in the taproom and it takes you two weeks to brew, then it's "Sorry wholesale account, we're out until two weeks from now." This can be very hard to do at times.
    Last edited by Bainbridge; 07-01-2013 at 10:58 AM.
    Russell Everett
    Co-Founder / Head Brewer
    Bainbridge Island Brewing
    Bainbridge Island, WA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Traverse City, MI, USA
    Posts
    121
    Our brewery is a ten bbl with four fermentors, and eight serving tanks. About a hundred 1/2 bbl kegs as well. We planned from the beginning to serve primarily in house. We can, and do, very limited wholesale. Our business plan had just myself in the brewery for three years. I am keeping up well, and sales are good.
    If we were to brew five days a week (seven?!) we would need to hire a number of brewers to work with me to keep up with everything. At $4.50 per pint, and $150.00 per 1/2 bbl keg ( roughly our numbers) you make 27 percent wholesale what you do retail. In our case roughly 800.00 more per barrel in house. That being said, we have staff to pay (servers, kitchen), so that isn't pure profit by any means. I think the point of some of the posts here is you need to decide what you want it to be, then work the numbers. If we got rid of the staff and taproom, we would save a lot of money on help, but would need to hire more help to brew more beer to make up for loss of taproom sales... See where I am going? Any model will work, as long as you know what you can brew with a given system and number of employees.
    Hope this makes sense
    David

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Red Lodge, MT
    Posts
    122
    "I'd also add: don't starve the taproom. If you've got ten kegs of Crowd Favorite IPA left, and you go through five a week in the taproom and it takes you two weeks to brew, then it's "Sorry wholesale account, we're out until two weeks from now." This can be very hard to do at times. "

    Don't be surprised if you don't get the handle back in two weeks at the retailer. There are lots of other breweries that would love to have their beer on tap at that account.

    Sam

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