Serious question, actually, and maybe for Pumpmaster, too, and anyone else who is into the art of suds.
How much would it cost to get a little sumpin-sumpin going in terms of a brewing operation. Not talking on a scale of Butttweiser, or even Dogfish Head in terms of barrels produced. Small scale, just getting it going, experimenting with brews, bringing out some tasty concoctions with limited barrel quantity production. Think: supplying a brew pub (on the premises) & local distribution on a limited scale.
Important financial note: I already own the land, and the 20k sf building on it, and the zoning administrator has given the green light to a brewery with a little pub-cafe operation. The building is in a heavily traveled location. Got 20 foot ceilings & frontage on a street that gets 50k vehicles per day. The demographic is upper-middle-class to wealthy, with no hesitation regarding spending their money, and these people love them some craft brews. No other producers are in my county, although there are a couple in adjunct counties.
Local govt says projected population growth in my county is 15-20% per year for the next 20+ yrs.
I did a business plan for a small production brewery 5 years ago, and I was looking at around $300k. That was buying used 15bbl brew house equipment and renting a smaller place in a warehouse area down here. Some recent plans for a brewpub come up closer to $750k. The added expense is in space and kitchen equipment. To do things 100% the way I would like, I would need $2mil. That would be a beachfront location, 5bbl brew house, barrel room, decent kitchen, and outdoor area with custom smoker. That would be the most successful, but also the most work. It would also take longer to recoup investment, as it would require a full staff, chef, line cooks, and someone to help brew.
Fair point, but you can spin it the other way too. There's a reason your market can sustain that many craft breweries...people there are into good beer. An untapped market could also be an undeveloped market, and developing a market can take years, even decades. I'm near Portland, ME, which is a very "tapped" market, pun intended. There is still market to be had for the right product positioned correctly. I'm shooting for the niche within the niche.
34th - consider yourself hired. Surfers make good employees, right? Ha! Oh yeah, the other perk, and it's a biggie, is all the delicious beer you can drink.
The bubble will burst someday in any market. We are a tourist city, where population fluctuates with the season. That is something to consider. The other option is to make beer a reason to tour, eliminating the seasonal flux. I don't see that happening soon. I can already tell you what production breweries will not stand the test of time. Localism here is the only thing that will allow them to function. That is, until we become saturated in the market and locals stop supporting every brewery.
Originally Posted by aka pumpmaster
the scary thing with microbrews is that I think its super trendy right now but all trends fade.
Craft beer is here to stay, much like wine and bourbon. The national market still has a lot of room to grow, which is why I encourage entrepreneurs to seek out untapped regional markets.
Yankee, maybe you should go to one of the local breweries and ask for a little tour, I've never been to one myself, but it seems like it could be a little complicated, but, it does sound like a very good investment and you know what they say about investing....God doesn't like a coward... good luck and " stay thirsty my friend ".
Yeah, spend a few days working there. It is not a glamorous business. Hard work and long hours. But there is a special feeling you get when you watch total strangers order your beer at a bar, then say how much they love it.
Yankee. I really like the idea of a microbrew/restaurant. That way all your eggs aren't in one basket.
There's a couple of them around here, Pump. None are chain, all are stand-alone. <Longest-tenured one is approx 14 yrs, newest one is last year. None have failed. That last part tells you a lot about the demographics here.....the level of disposable income is up there - - and these people spend it as part of their routines in their lives.
I agree with you on not having all kegs in one hopper.
Hadn't heard the saying, but I like it fl.surfdog.
I've toured a few places, including brew pubs & straight-up breweries. Have some ideas on the concept. By no means am I the final authority, but I believe in assembling a great team & in that sense, we have the foundation.