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Typical renovation costs?

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  • Typical renovation costs?


    Our project has investors lined up but, as any good investor would do, they are pushing to reduce up front costs in order to make the investment more attractive. One thing that I think our business plan has is alot of fluff in our construction and retrofitting costs.

    So my question to the group is, what were your typical renovation costs of your brewery and taproom once all was said and done (including all construction work and equipment such as taplines, tables, chairs, etc.)? We are looking at 4000-5000 sq ft and a 7BBL system. We aren't looking to make the taproom look like the Sistine Chapel but we also want it to have some character. Our business plan has about 120K for the brewery and office space and about 220K for the pub/taproom area, then another $120K in contingency and management fees. $460K feels looking for others experiences so we can get to perhaps more realistic costs and truly understand our investment needs. I'll be the first to admit that I know nothing about these type of costs and this was a conservative shot in the dark.

    Also want to add that our investors have very good connections in terms of skilled labor and we can probably get good deals on the work done. I don't believe we will need to contract this out and pay the typical management fees and costs you would see if you just hired a contractor to do this work.

    Last edited by bstboy; 02-01-2017, 09:04 AM.

  • #2
    I am in the process of assembling plans for a brewery myself and am interested to hear what people have to say. From what I have learned so far your build-out of the taproom and offices will range greatly based on a lot of variables. If you have good contractors available you are well on your way. Depending on where you are building it might be worth considering hiring an architect that has experience with green building. We opted to go this route for one convincing reason. There is a tax rebate option where we are setting up when you develop a small business with energy conservation in mind. The savings covers the initial cost of the architect. Depending on your level of involvement the cost can swing quite a bit. If you want others to handle it so you can focus your valuable time elsewhere the cost can be higher than your estimate. We are sourcing repurposed materials from organizations that harvest parts from demolitions, it's cheap and unique, but takes time to hunt and haul. You have to decide where your time is worth being expended and where you are ready to delegate. Some taprooms use old barrel staves, pallet wood, and old construction beams as lumber for their spaces and do so successfully.

    I have a few questions that my partners and I have helped to ask ourselves. It's not to pry, but for you to consider for yourself:

    How many taps are our running? This will determine how many tanks you need in the back.

    How many yeast are you handling? The more styles of beer you make, the more attention will be given to storing/building cultures between brews rather than pitching straight into another tank.

    How many people are sitting in your taproom? 15 sq. ft per person is roomy with tables that give plenty of elbow room for your customers but sucks up the space with would-be partakers. You can pack people in to much less than that but it changes the space's comfort. This is a balance that needs to be struck and where a good contractor and/or architect can really excel.

    What is your turnover rate? How many pints are you pouring (high and low seasons) on slow days, good days, and standard shifts? This will dictate the rate of brews that need to be made to maintain rotation. This will greatly determine the tank farm you have in the back (a few 14bbl tanks or a series of 7 barrel tanks)

    Is any of your product going to be packaged for off-site consumption? That would change your sq. footage needs greatly. If it is in your plans to sell to local bars or package out to local markets at some point I would recommend you consider the space you will need to grow into.

    I look forward to hear what others have to say regarding your estimates.


    • #3
      It SOOOO Depends

      We built out a 5000 sq ft space with a 7bbl system. No two buildings are the same. No two building departments are the same. The first two people you should put on your team are an attorney and an architect. Are your restrooms big enough, are they ADA compliant. How about your fire egress, sprinklers etc. How are the utilities, do you have enough gas, electric and the big one, drainage capacity. Chances are the building department will force you to have full architect and MEP Engineering plans done (ours did) and would not let us be our own general contractor. Once we got him on board, our architect saved us lots and lots of money. Have you talked to the local building department yet? Plans Examiners were a great big punch in the gut eye opener for us. Your architect is the one who will be able to make the changes to save money. Also factor in longevity of your investment. Corners cut now can be greater costs later.
      Is your brewery budget just build out or does it include equipment?
      Feel free to PM me if I can help out with specifics. I have gotten invaluable help here and always happy to pay it forward.


      • #4
        There's no such thing as typical construction, but $100/sq ft is probably reasonable especially when it's 1/4 contingency. Of course, it all depends on how extensive the renovations will be. If you're moving into warehouse space that already has the floors/drains/utilities you need, then you aren't truly renovating the brewery and you can probably get by with less. If you need to upgrade utilities that could easily soak up a quarter of your budget. Adding bathrooms is shockingly expensive. As far as the front of house equipment and furnishings, that's easy to price online - just search for restaurant suppliers.

        Any decent general contractor shouldn't charge you for a non-binding estimate based on square footage and/or a quick walkthrough.
        Sent from my Microsoft Bob

        Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own. |


        • #5

          As others have said, there are too many variables to say if your estimate is high or low. I can tell you that on a 5,000ft2 building with a 7bbl steam fired brewhouse we spent $750k. We had to upgrade ALL utilities and add sprinklers, new bathrooms, and a mountain of surprise costs. That said, I guarantee our monthly rent is way lower than yours, we have been turning a profit since month 2. Each situation is different, you need to run the numbers on yours and make sure it all adds up. Expect construction overruns, take your construction estimate and then double it, trust me.


          • #6
            We ran about 200/sf with equipment, renovations, licensing fees and permits, 3rd party inspections, kitchen equipment, furniture, etc. Our owner hooked us up with some items like new concrete and HVAC units. It could have easily ran up to 250/sf so beware.