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  • Brewery in planning..a few questions!

    Hi everyone! I'm brand new to this site and I'm hoping to pick your brains about a few things. Myself and 2 partners recently closed on a building and plan to open a small brewery by summer 2022. To help keep this from being super long winded I'll just use bullet points of the plan we currently have and the questions I have that are related to it.

    -We are currently looking to start with a 2bbl system, in a town of ~18k people, with 2 other current breweries. We will be located in a prime location in downtown.
    -Our current floor plan allows for roughly 90 seats inside, with an additional 50-60 seats in an outside patio area.
    -We plan to have food, most likely in the form of food trucks in rotation
    -The floor plan also includes a stage area for live music

    The main questions I have are about sales expectations. I've done research at the two other local breweries but they aren't exactly willing to give exact sales numbers. We plan to do ZERO distro and will serve every ounce of beer we make from our taproom. How much throughput do you think we'd have? Our "low" expectations are 8bbl per month, which would be about 100 pints/day if we're open 5 days a week. Our mid expectations are 16bbl per month. Is this too optimistic? Too low? Will we have a stockpile of kegs or will we need to brew every day to keep up?

    We put a decent down payment on the building, so we owe just under $100k on that. The plan we have for renovations puts us on track for an additional $200k in loans, for a total debt of around $300k. Is this a viable plan in a smaller town with a 2bbl system with that much startup debt?

    I would love to hear some feedback of others who have a nano brewery in a small town. Thanks in advance for your help!

  • #2
    My brewery is in a town of a similar size, not prime location, less seating, with not much else going on in the area and we are pushing out 20-30 bbl/month on a 3bbl system, so for what it's worth, 2bbl sounds a little small.

    $300k is probably a little low too. Everything costs more than you expect it to. We are building out a new location and one of the benefits we have is that we've build up a lot of good will having been open for about 7 years so we've gotten a lot of free and cheap help, and lots of people willing to work for beer, and we're still blowing through the funds!

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    • #3
      1- The hard stuff....Sit down and have a frank and honest discussion about ownership roles. Who will handle what and what the expectations are. Don't do this over beers. This is a business that you are going to dump your money into for a few years before you see any meaningful return. The reality is, you may fail regardless of how good your product is and you all need to be prepared for that. You can make a living at this, but the easy money was made 10 years ago. If you and your partners need the brewery to succeed in order to support your personal bills, save more money before you start. Nothing destroys a friendship or a relationship faster than money problems.

      2- Your average sale will be 2 beers per person. At $12 a head, what will it take to break even every month? Can you survive on a couple good weekends a month?

      3- Food trucks are notoriously unreliable. Breakdowns, better gigs, staffing problems and an inability to manage a schedule will frustrate you to no end. BUT, a good one turns that $12 ticket into a $30 ticket.

      4- How many beers on tap at a time? 8? 16?
      If the product is good, you will be brewing 2-4 times a week. Then your problem will be tank space and waiting for the beer to finish. If you have 4 - 2 bbl fvs, and turn them every 14 days, that's 200bbls max per year. At $6 per pint, that is $300000 if you sell it all. Dirty numbers, but you get the picture.

      Just some ideas off the top of my head. Hope it gives you some answers or helps you ask the right questions from yourself and your partners.

      Cheers,






      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        Originally posted by beardlessbrewer View Post
        Hi everyone! I'm brand new to this site and I'm hoping to pick your brains about a few things. Myself and 2 partners recently closed on a building and plan to open a small brewery by summer 2022. To help keep this from being super long winded I'll just use bullet points of the plan we currently have and the questions I have that are related to it.

        -We are currently looking to start with a 2bbl system, in a town of ~18k people, with 2 other current breweries. We will be located in a prime location in downtown.
        -Our current floor plan allows for roughly 90 seats inside, with an additional 50-60 seats in an outside patio area.
        -We plan to have food, most likely in the form of food trucks in rotation
        -The floor plan also includes a stage area for live music

        The main questions I have are about sales expectations. I've done research at the two other local breweries but they aren't exactly willing to give exact sales numbers. We plan to do ZERO distro and will serve every ounce of beer we make from our taproom. How much throughput do you think we'd have? Our "low" expectations are 8bbl per month, which would be about 100 pints/day if we're open 5 days a week. Our mid expectations are 16bbl per month. Is this too optimistic? Too low? Will we have a stockpile of kegs or will we need to brew every day to keep up?

        We put a decent down payment on the building, so we owe just under $100k on that. The plan we have for renovations puts us on track for an additional $200k in loans, for a total debt of around $300k. Is this a viable plan in a smaller town with a 2bbl system with that much startup debt?

        I would love to hear some feedback of others who have a nano brewery in a small town. Thanks in advance for your help!
        We are manufacturer for beer euqipment from China with more than 10 years experience and best quality and service.
        We can offer the best brewing system for 2BBL system,but i think this is a little small for your brewpub,maybe you can consider 5BBL.we will offer both for you to compare.
        Can you send email to us?we will make a plan for you
        Waiting for your feedback.
        ------------------
        Thanks&Best Regards
        Richard
        Shandong ZhongPi Machinery Equipment Co.,Ltd.

        Email:richard@cnbeerequipment.com
        Add:Li Xia District, Jinan City, Shandong Province, China

        Website:http://www.cbetbrew.com/
        Phone/Whatsapp:86+18560038670
        Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJlwjOqI8Snr1bFr7SuinEw/videos?view_as=subscriber

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