View Full Version : Separate production/taproom facilities?

10-01-2013, 08:57 AM
Does anyone have experience operating a brewpub with an offsite production facility (only a few miles away)?

The bottom line is that rent is very, very expensive where I plan to open - $5/sqft isn't unheard of. So, a facility big enough for production could cost me $25-$50k/month. I'm considering modifying my business model to include two facilities: a small taproom in a high traffic area where rent is $5/sqft, and a larger production facility where rent is closer to $0.25/sqft. My concern is the logistics of moving product back and forth.

Any advice? Thanks in advance!

10-01-2013, 09:20 AM
I believe EJ Phair brews all of its beers at the brewery and transports it to their "Alehouses". Pretty sure they were well funded to begin with, though.

If you're on a budget, two leases sounds like a lot of debt right off the bat.

We've had several breweries in the Indy area (and around the Midwest) start on the outskirts of town with a warehouse space, build up accounts in the city, then add a small, high-traffic taproom later.

10-01-2013, 09:45 AM
Thanks for the thoughts!

I'm not sure two facilities necessarily translates to more debt, since the alternative is a large facility in high traffic (and high rent) area. I suppose another alternative is a large facility in a warehouse district, but that's a tough neighborhood for a brewpub. I'd really like to target foot traffic and take advantage of the millions of tourists we get annually. So my question is really on the logistics side, I can work the financials easily enough. I'd just like to hear how complicated life gets with two separate facilities.

Thanks again!

10-01-2013, 04:05 PM
Logistically speaking you just need a truck to move kegs. You will also need lots of kegs rather than serving tanks. More importantly than either of those points though is that you are now talking about opening a bar and/or restaurant and a brewery at the same time. May be more than you want to bite off all at once as far as covering both businesses at once.

10-01-2013, 04:28 PM
Some states only allow you to sell direct to the consumer (i.e. bypass a distributor) if the pub is on the site where the beer is made. Check your state laws.