Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: What's the minimal amount of money that I need to start a 1-barrel brewery in pa?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    28

    What's the minimal amount of money that I need to start a 1-barrel brewery in pa?

    Right now I have a 1-bbl brewhouse. two 1/2-bbl conical fermenters, a glycol chiller, a plate chiller, 6 30-gallon food grade plastic containers that can be used as fermenters, 3 20-liter home brewing kegs.
    How many 1/2 barrel kegs should I start with (maybe 10-20?)

    How many more conicals or unitanks should I start with?

    what other basic equipment do I absolutely need?

    If my rent would be approx. $3000 a month how many kegs would I need to sell justify these costs assuming an 80% whole sale and 20% retail? What type of insurance will I need and how much would this cost me? How do I set up a break even analysis so I know exactly how much beer I need to sell to cover my costs and then to make a profit?

    Food would be simple. Sour dough pizza bagels and french fries with dips. seating would be for 10 people and would operate under a G-license so I could self distribute

    The location I would be looking at is approx. 1500 square feet split between a basement and a commercial kitchen level. Is already set up with a commercial kitchen and walk in fridge

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Marietta
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by LaserKyle View Post
    Right now I have a 1-bbl brewhouse. two 1/2-bbl conical fermenters, a glycol chiller, a plate chiller, 6 30-gallon food grade plastic containers that can be used as fermenters, 3 20-liter home brewing kegs.
    How many 1/2 barrel kegs should I start with (maybe 10-20?)

    How many more conicals or unitanks should I start with?

    what other basic equipment do I absolutely need?

    If my rent would be approx. $3000 a month how many kegs would I need to sell justify these costs assuming an 80% whole sale and 20% retail? What type of insurance will I need and how much would this cost me? How do I set up a break even analysis so I know exactly how much beer I need to sell to cover my costs and then to make a profit?

    Food would be simple. Sour dough pizza bagels and french fries with dips. seating would be for 10 people and would operate under a G-license so I could self distribute

    The location I would be looking at is approx. 1500 square feet split between a basement and a commercial kitchen level. Is already set up with a commercial kitchen and walk in fridge
    I don’t want to deter you from starting up your project, but unless you hate yourself and $$$, don’t try to start a 80% wholesale brewery at 1 BBL. Go bigger.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Kelso, WA USA
    Posts
    26

    1 bbl

    If you rent is 3k a month and you only have a 1bbl you will be brewing nearly everyday all day in order to make enough beer to have for distribution. If you are able to sell one kegs worth a beer a week at your location you will still be short 1k a month for rent. The questions you ask are the right questions, but you will need to find many of these answer out on your own. What I mean is each city, county, state has different requirements that only you will have to know.

    For easy numbers use this formula. Start with net profit per keg. (roughly 435-500 per keg at your location and 65-85 per keg you distribute) I figure my numbers based on $465 profit per keg in house sells and $75 for distributed kegs. You system can only make 2 kegs per batch and if you have four styles on tap you would need 2 kegs per style, just for your location and 2-3 kegs per style you distribute per each account you have.

    Now you will need to figure out what your location can sell a week (this information is available in a google search) and how many places you have to sell your kegs at?

    Your rent is what is going to kill this for your 1bbl system. You just are not going to make enough beer to justify that amount of rent. Unless your location can draw a lot of people your system is just too small, along with a 10 person taproom which is just not large enough.

    I can even give you the per person per visit average is 1.6 glasses and you will sell roughly 100-110 glass of beer per keg along with samples and daily run through and foaming issues.

    Google search (start-up breakeven)

    I can tell you that I have a 2bbl system and my rent is a third of yours; and my taproom can hold 50+ and an outside area that can hold that again and my breakeven point is nearly 50 months. I wish you the best of luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    28

    re:

    I can tell you that I have a 2bbl system and my rent is a third of yours; and my taproom can hold 50+ and an outside area that can hold that again and my breakeven point is nearly 50 months. I wish you the best of luck.[/QUOTE]

    thanks. Initially I had put together a business plan to start with a 10-bbl system and even with shopping around to make my equipment costs as low as possible the total start up costs were much to large for my to undertake. Right now I'm trying to scale my original plan into a smaller model so I can utilize the equipment that I already have as a stepping stone for something bigger by using the small model as proof of concept. right now I have a one barrel system which I could use to produce 2-bbls per brew day.

    As far as the 10 person seating area. The reason for starting out this small would be to operate under a g-license which has its limitation such as seating, closing at midnight instead of 2am, not having catering automatically (not a problem b/c can apply for up to 200 of premise events per year) but at the same time allows me to self distribute.

    Right now I'm at the point where the main thing holding me back is information as how to exactly start. I have several beers that I want to start with as well as several ideas for food that would be served in house with the beer. For example zoning code. I need to know what type of commercial zoning will be required of me but this is different in every city and even on different streets which makes it very challenging to even pick a location b/c I need to know what I'm looking for to find a location at the right price.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    28

    re: go bigger

    Quote Originally Posted by DTimblin View Post
    I don’t want to deter you from starting up your project, but unless you hate yourself and $$$, don’t try to start a 80% wholesale brewery at 1 BBL. Go bigger.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    the 80/20 model was from my original business plan. at this size it would likely be more heavily retail based. the reason for starting with a 1-bbl brewhouse is that is what equipment I currently have. My right now is to learn how to start asap with no nonsense and just get brewing. I realize this won't make me a ton of money but will give me an income and provide proof of concept I can take to an investor and then implement my larger plan for a 10-bbl brewery

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Marietta
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by LaserKyle View Post
    the 80/20 model was from my original business plan. at this size it would likely be more heavily retail based. the reason for starting with a 1-bbl brewhouse is that is what equipment I currently have. My right now is to learn how to start asap with no nonsense and just get brewing. I realize this won't make me a ton of money but will give me an income and provide proof of concept I can take to an investor and then implement my larger plan for a 10-bbl brewery
    Okay that makes a lot more sense. Good luck man, I’m also trying to start up in PA.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    34
    Don't do it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    135
    Quote Originally Posted by LaserKyle View Post
    I realize this won't make me a ton of money
    how much money are you prepared to lose?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    155

    Patience young Jedi

    The absolute best advice I can give is please just wait another year or two to personally save up enough to at least get a 5bbl-7bbl system. Seriously look into building a Frankenbrew style brewery instead. You can easily build a 5bbl-7bbl brewhouse for under $5k, use some wine fermenters, get one used single walled Brite Tank, used 1/2bbl kegs and build your own manual keg washer out of a utility sink. Whole set up would be around $20-$25k. You can make money at 5bbl-7bbl via taproom sales with very light distribution. No way it really works at 1 bbl. Success at 1bbl is a myth that is only reinforced by manufacturers of small systems. The only value a 1bbl system had is as a research and development pilot system in a larger brewery.

    Also, if you wait and save for the next year or two this craft bubble will hopefully pop somewhat and you might be able to scoop up some used equipment on the cheap. Same thing happened back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Great equipment came up for sale regularly for low prices because too many people got in the industry and didn’t either know or care about how to brew good beer and run a successful business. It was the “hot” thing to do, just like today. Just wait and save so you can be successful.

    To answer your question, probably $150k to start a tiny 1bbl brewery. And it would probably be around $150k-$175k to open a successful 5bbl-7bbl frankenbrew style brewery. Just save a little more :-)
    Last edited by Catfish002; 05-26-2018 at 02:07 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    28

    Catfish002

    Quote Originally Posted by Catfish002 View Post
    The absolute best advice I can give is please just wait another year or two to personally save up enough to at least get a 5bbl-7bbl system. Seriously look into building a Frankenbrew style brewery instead. You can easily build a 5bbl-7bbl brewhouse for under $5k, use some wine fermenters, get one used single walled Brite Tank, used 1/2bbl kegs and build your own manual keg washer out of a utility sink. Whole set up would be around $20-$25k. You can make money at 5bbl-7bbl via taproom sales with very light distribution. No way it really works at 1 bbl. Success at 1bbl is a myth that is only reinforced by manufacturers of small systems. The only value a 1bbl system had is as a research and development pilot system in a larger brewery.

    Also, if you wait and save for the next year or two this craft bubble will hopefully pop somewhat and you might be able to scoop up some used equipment on the cheap. Same thing happened back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Great equipment came up for sale regularly for low prices because too many people got in the industry and didn’t either know or care about how to brew good beer and run a successful business. It was the “hot” thing to do, just like today. Just wait and save so you can be successful.

    To answer your question, probably $150k to start a tiny 1bbl brewery. And it would probably be around $150k-$175k to open a successful 5bbl-7bbl frankenbrew style brewery. Just save a little more :-)
    where would I find plans to build a frankenbrew system? where would I find plans to build my own keg washer?
    the only reason I'm considering a 1-bbl brewpub is b/c I currently have a 1-bbl brewing system already. One way I was planning on increasing output was to also buy wort from local breweries then blend and ferment on my own. Since I already have the equipment for a 1-bbl brewhouse the only things I would need to buy would be a high powered microscope, 1 larger conical fermentor, kegs, and a keg washer. The rest of the money I spend would go into build out for the location(bar, cold storage, etc) initial rent until licensing gets approved, and licensing. My thinking was that with a small brewpub I wouldn't make a ton of money but would have an income and show proof of concept for investors that would then invest in my original business plan which was for a 10-bbl brewery after several years of success at a much smaller scale. I like the idea of being able to build my equipment for much less but it still seems like it would dramatically increase cost? With th equipment I already have would it be possible to start with a budget of $50k? (not including rent until licensing gets approved or initial ingredients for the first batches of beer to be made)
    Last edited by LaserKyle; 05-27-2018 at 10:09 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    28

    re TonyT

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyT View Post
    how much money are you prepared to lose?
    my goal isn't to lose any money but to be able to start with a modest salary and grown my business slowly over time until the point where I ca attract an investor to my business with a high in demand product that will be able to fulfill orders if grown to a larger size

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    155
    Quote Originally Posted by LaserKyle View Post
    where would I find plans to build a frankenbrew system? where would I find plans to build my own keg washer?
    the only reason I'm considering a 1-bbl brewpub is b/c I currently have a 1-bbl brewing system already. One way I was planning on increasing output was to also buy wort from local breweries then blend and ferment on my own. Since I already have the equipment for a 1-bbl brewhouse the only things I would need to buy would be a high powered microscope, 1 larger conical fermentor, kegs, and a keg washer. The rest of the money I spend would go into build out for the location(bar, cold storage, etc) initial rent until licensing gets approved, and licensing. My thinking was that with a small brewpub I wouldn't make a ton of money but would have an income and show proof of concept for investors that would then invest in my original business plan which was for a 10-bbl brewery after several years of success at a much smaller scale. I like the idea of being able to build my equipment for much less but it still seems like it would dramatically increase cost? With th equipment I already have would it be possible to start with a budget of $50k? (not including rent until licensing gets approved or initial ingredients for the first batches of beer to be made)
    http://www.breweryoperationsmanual.com/home.html

    Get the brewery operations manual, SOP book and the Frankenbrew DVD and you will get info and ideas. Tom Hennessy is awesome.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Abingdon, VA.
    Posts
    197
    I did something similar for $15k startup. Granted, it was 2009. I documented in an ebook you can get on amazon.com for $0.99. "A Good Hobby Mashed. A Journey from Homebrewer to Craft Brewery Owner". Happy to answer any questions you may have. My only comment so far is $3k rent is steep.
    _______________________
    Chris Burcher, Wolf Hills
    Abingdon, VA

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    28

    re burcher

    Quote Originally Posted by burcher View Post
    I did something similar for $15k startup. Granted, it was 2009. I documented in an ebook you can get on amazon.com for $0.99. "A Good Hobby Mashed. A Journey from Homebrewer to Craft Brewery Owner". Happy to answer any questions you may have. My only comment so far is $3k rent is steep.
    The only reason I asked about the specific price was a specific location I was considering that was already set up with a commercial kitchen. I'm going to start looking around for places with lower rent now.

    Sounds like an important book for me to read. I have a few I am about to start now that they just came in the mail. Is there a paper version of your book available?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Abingdon, VA.
    Posts
    197
    Sorry but I self published this book in e-form only. I didn't have any luck with publishers.
    _______________________
    Chris Burcher, Wolf Hills
    Abingdon, VA

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •