Micro building size
I'm in the process of locating a building for a microbrewery startup and have come up with a couple of possibilities. I'm wondering about the size now as one of the possible locations seems perfect but the maximum size is 1600 square feet. Some of my specifics:
-80 x 20 feet, 20 foot ceiling for the lease. No walls, just wide open space.
-Production of 1000 hectolitres for the first year of operation.
-Projected production of 2000 hectolitres after year 3.
-Bottling only, no kegging. May look into it after the first year.
-Initially 2 ales with the possibility of seasonal beers - no lagers planned.
-10 hectolitre brewhouse, 3 fermenters, one brite tank to start.
-Small retail section for selling beer and promotional stuff (hats, t-shirts, etc)
I did a rough layout quickly in visio and it looks like the space is adequate for the first year or two. I'm more concerned about the future, however. What do you folks think would be the maximum production I could squeeze out of the space? The landlord would prefer a longer term lease of 5 years but I'm not so sure I won't grow out of it long before then (assuming sales and growth targets are met). Do you think the space would be inhibiting over a five year term?
My advice and experience with this is that if you can break even or make a small profit based on the initial square footage and you are so successful that the area gets too small, you have a good problem and will have the money or people interested to expand.
Last edited by BelgianBrewer; 04-05-2008 at 12:27 AM.
We started out with 5000/sq ft, but discovered it was alot of wasted space and we subdivided into 2500/sq ft sections. I also see no problem with your square footage if you think "Verticle" with your future tank placements. Use Horizonatal Conditioning tanks if you have not already purchased the brewery, and stack on top and utilize I Beams to put as much overhead and use the 20 ft ceiling space. Too many breweries use traditional brewery layouts which use up alot of floorspace but do not take advantage of overhead empty space. Constuct I-Beam Support for Brite Beer Tanks overhead, and have bottle line underneath. Simple platform to get to tanks for carbonation testing and cleaning, all accesable by ladder. this will save a few hundred Sq/ft .
Good luck and send some samples