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Help with market research (Northeast US)

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  • Help with market research (Northeast US)

    Hello all,

    I am in the process of creating the business plan/investor pitch for a small, rural brewpub with a 3.5bbl brewhouse. Facing a distinct lack of similar businesses in my direct area, I am turning to probrewer in the hope of gathering some market research and coming up with some reasonable estimates for my business plan and pitch.

    Relevant information about my business:

    1. The prospective brewery is located in the northeast in a state with existing excitement around rural and farm breweries
    2. The population of my 10-mile radius is about 80,000 (with only four existing breweries)
    3. The plan for the footprint of the building is 40x60 with 2,000sq.ft of indoor taproom seating
    a. With an additional 80+ outdoor seats with decent weather
    4. Business model would be to sell 80-95% of our product through the taproom
    5. Simple but diverse food menu utilizing spent-grain and our beer in the recipes

    My questions for anybody willing to help -- especially people with small breweries in the northeast:

    1. How big is your taproom and how many seats do you have?
    a. How many beers do you sell per seat on the average weekday?
    b. How many beers do you sell per seat on the average weekend?
    c. How seasonal is your business/how do the above numbers compare in the winter?

    2. How big is your brewhouse
    a. How many barrels do you sell per year?
    b. What percentage of that is out of your taproom?
    c. How many styles/taps do you have pouring at once?

    3. Tank Setup
    (I am excited about trying to use 4, jacketed, stackable serving tanks behind the bar and 4 or 5, single-wall serving tanks in the walk-in to reduce labor and chemical costs from kegging)

    a. does anybody have experience with serving tanks?
    b. Pros and Cons (again the hope is to sell 80-90% of our beer through the taproom)

    4. Ingredients
    a. what ballpark are people paying these days per pound for hops and malt in the northeast? I'm trying to figure out if I can use primarily locally farmed ingredients and still price my beer reasonably

    Thank you so much to anybody who made it all the way through that and thanks in advance for any information you are able to provide!


  • #2
    Hey Spencer, not sure what state you are in, but certain states publish the barrels taxed per brewery per month, You would need to dig a bit. Here is an example of the Wisconsin BT100 form:

    Serving tanks are 100% cons in my opinion for a small brewery, Kegs are cheap.

    Are you planning to serve food? If not and you don't plan to distribute, the tap rooms here sell between 100 and 300 barrels per year.
    Six Sigma Master Blackbelt - Lean manufacturing expert. Beer production is food manufacturing. Why not do it efficiently!


    • SpencerJanney
      SpencerJanney commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you so much for your input! I will try to hunt down my state's tax info that would be helpful. With food service and a couple accounts (self-distributing to choice local spots) I was hoping to be able to target selling 330bbl/year to start out -- brewing 3x a week so that there's room to grow. That is good to hear.