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Thread: Is it really that hard to start selling my beer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Pinetop, Arizona
    Posts
    2

    Is it really that hard to start selling my beer?

    How come more people don't sell there beer?
    I do take love donations. My friends and family pay for all my grain, yeast, and hops. My father-n-law wants me to find out about selling my beer. My family wants to pool together and buy me a 3.5 BBL syst. Most of the whole town likes my beer. My greatest hits are, my I.P.A., my Apple-Smoked Amber Ale, and my Black River Stout- (much like a Ponderosa Stout). I have had three of the local country clubs tell me they will carry my beer if I keg it. I think everyone is putting me in over my head. I'm only 28, I have been a home brewer for four years. My brewing knowlege comes from John Palmer's book, and Analysis of Brewing Techniques. I'm going to take an internet class from UC Davis this Febuary. But that's it. Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    India
    Posts
    138
    Not to discourage you, but,
    You're talking apple and oranges between home brewing and comercial brewing. To start, Just the local, state and federal regulations will eat up your love donations and a whole lot more, not to mention all the aspirin you'll need.
    Then you will have expenses every month, if you feel like brewing or not or if you sell your beer or not.
    A 3.5bbl systems is not viable as a stand alone business.
    A rough rule of thumb, for every person employed, you should have 10bbls going out the door(sold) every week to make ends meet. That means, on your 3.5bbl system and you working on your own, you would have to brew 3 times a week, along with all the tanks to hold this, then cleaning, racking, packaging, deliveries, billing, accounting,......etc.
    I believe a lot of people have jumped from home brewing to commercial brewing and alot of them are not around now.
    Yes, some are still around and very good breweries, but I'm sure alot of them either have second thoughts or would do it differently.

    Not to discourage you.

    If still considering this, I would recommend you learn all you can about both the brewing and the business side of the venture.
    If you can look at a good business plan(ideally for a brewery), this will answer alot of questions for you.
    Along with this, if you can, work in a small brewery for awhile, this will teach you alot about what you don't see in home brewing.
    matt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    3
    If you have several country clubs offering to sell your beer, congratulations, that says something about your beer.
    However... it is very easy for people to say they will buy your beer, but I would not do it until I was ceartain that I could deliver on time, every time, with a high level of quality. You risk losing the account if you have hiccups. This is where a thorough business plan would help alot! There's alot of stuff you're not thinking of. Plus, the amount of beer 3 country clubs could potentially sell...
    Think about it this way: Your brew time would be roughly the same on a 3.5 bbl system as on a 10 bbl system, but you've got alot more beer to sell. So what is your time worth? A business plan can help you to determine about how much you're paying yourself per hour. Do you want to work for minimum wage? Brewing beer is a great job, but......... I'm sure you get it.
    Then there's storage, yeast management, taxes...

    May I suggest that you consider opening a full scale microbrewery? Spend a couple years developing a plan and getting funding, and as mentioned, work in a brewery awhile.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    USA/Taiwan
    Posts
    32
    Everybody is being real nice here, but WHOAAA THERE BIG FELLA. You may very well be able to do it, but "Is it really that hard to start selling my beer?" YES. It is really that hard. It requires determination, skill, patience, brains, personality, dreams, guts, dirt, filth, scrubbing, pain, burns, common sense, taste, creativity, leadership, flexibility, vision, education, apprenticeships, friends, support, employees, quality but most importantly, cold hard cash!!! I wish you the best as well, but be sure you know what you are getting into.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rutherglen 3685 Vic Australia
    Posts
    29
    I think you should spend the money on a consultant & follow thier advice & give it a go, if you can produce consistant beer you will have no problems selling it to a client base all year round, then you have the break even threshold so all you have to do is get a few customers over & above your base to pay yourself.
    However you will need a bigger brew plant.
    My advise is have faith & draw from the local encouragment that you have already, its not easy money but what is?
    As for your age; dont let it stop you, youve got to start some where & time so why not now?
    Take it step by step my friend & welcome to the uncertainty of the brewing business.
    By the way if your inlaws are into it then they must see a great potential in you, pick up your confidence & go for it my friend!
    My encouragment is with you,
    Mike.
    MIKE S

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Pinetop, Arizona
    Posts
    2

    Smile Thanks

    Hey thanks. I love getting all the information.

    Fred--
    Thanks,
    Fred Maupin
    White Mounain Brewery Pub and grill.

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