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Thread: Buying equipment versus gypsy or contract

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    4

    Buying equipment versus gypsy or contract

    Weighing the options here. Anyone looked into cost structure between these options? In Northern California there seems to be a lot of both. I haven't looked into either contract or gypsy. Is it a viable option?



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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    350
    Brewing is capital-intensive, so I guess if you can get others to front the capital for you, that could be a good way to get off the ground. However, your per-unit costs will still incorporate the cost of the equipment, plus I assume a surcharge, only it'll be expensed, not capitalized and depreciated, so on balance I think your per-unit costs would be higher than if you own your equipment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Posts
    746
    You also make the fundamental assumption that some brewery out there both can and wants to contract brew for you. Most breweries out there I'd wager either have no excess capacity, or if they do they aren't just going to let someone walk in and use their equipment without seriously getting to know you. I have heard of a few places out there that are building craft contract only breweries, places where many brands will be brewed under one roof. Interesting idea.

    Third option could be an alternating proprietorship, wherein you find a brewery that's got excess floor space, plunk your own fermenter(s) in, and 'rent' use of the equipment as needed to fill and package your tanks. Then you're not beholden to their tank schedule, growth demands, etc..
    Russell Everett
    Co-Founder / Head Brewer
    Bainbridge Island Brewing
    Bainbridge Island, WA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Utrecht, Netherlands
    Posts
    3

    Interesting option

    Quote Originally Posted by Bainbridge View Post
    You also make the fundamental assumption that some brewery out there both can and wants to contract brew for you. Most breweries out there I'd wager either have no excess capacity, or if they do they aren't just going to let someone walk in and use their equipment without seriously getting to know you. I have heard of a few places out there that are building craft contract only breweries, places where many brands will be brewed under one roof. Interesting idea.

    Third option could be an alternating proprietorship, wherein you find a brewery that's got excess floor space, plunk your own fermenter(s) in, and 'rent' use of the equipment as needed to fill and package your tanks. Then you're not beholden to their tank schedule, growth demands, etc..
    The second option seems very interesting to me: few places out there that are building craft contract only breweries, places where many brands will be brewed under one roof.

    Do you have any real names/examples that you can share? Do you think it is a viable business? I thought about starting one here in Europe.

    Thank you!

    Guille

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Littleton, CO
    Posts
    55

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Utrecht, Netherlands
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne1 View Post
    Thanks a lot man!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1
    There are no businesses like that in Netherlands, Guille?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    San Jose
    Posts
    21
    Some more grist for the mill. In CA, you will need to file for a for a Type 17 license in order to contract brew. It basically makes you a distributor. If you open your own place, you would need to re-file and go through all the ABC process again in order to get a Type 23 license. Personally, I wouldn't want to go through that hassle twice.

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