There is a growing trend of people turning their hobbies into careers. Part of this is a need to strike for a more even work-life balance, but it is also because the internet now allows for almost anyone to convert their pleasures into profits. For craft beer lovers, there are growing numbers of hobbyists who have decided to put their knowledge to the ultimate test and turn the dream of being a quality brewer into a reality. However, starting a new business always comes with an element of risk, and craft brewing is no exception. No matter the scale you hope to achieve with this new venture, you’re going to have to ensure that you have the right planning, patience, and capital to turn your hobby beer into a successful business venture.
Location and building
Your brewery is going to need a set space, and this is going to be your first priority when it comes to your brewery. Brewing at home is a possibility if you’re expecting to sell just a few bottles a year, but if you have loftier ambitions than that, then you’re going to need a dedicated building to brew in. Cost here is going to be the issue because it will take time to manufacture your first product. It’s for this reason why you’re going to need some financial backing or some personal savings to fall back on, so that you can afford deposits and the first few months rent. Always check the property and ensure that it has sufficient plumbing and the space to grow if your business takes off.
Stocking the right equipment
If you have already created your own craft beers, then you know all about the essential equipment that you’re going to need. Everything from kettles, boilers, a four roses barrel or two, empty bottles and beer-labelling machines will all be vital. Without these items, you will not be able to craft your own beer, let alone sell it! You must ensure that you have all of the right equipment before production so that production can run smoothly. Not having a certain piece of equipment could cause some unwanted hiccups. The balance here is going to have to be struck between what you can afford and what you actually need. Failing to plan for increased interest will mean that your equipment may not be up to the task, and you may start falling behind on orders. Always be very conservative when it comes to what you can afford to spend and what you can’t afford to lose out on, and your brewing operation will be far more likely to succeed.
It’s very different brewing beer in your garage for personal use and creating large quantities for commercial use. Cleanliness is a priority, and failing to keep your workspace and equipment clean is not just good for customer satisfaction, but it is a legal requirement as well. Always make sure that when you start investing in equipment that you prioritise the best industrial water treatment equipment possible. Doing so will save you a lot of time and money in the short and long term running of your new business and will ensure that your beer tastes as good on day one as it does five years down the line.
There is a lot of potential for the future of the craft brewing industry, which is why so many hobbyists are taking the big step of monetising their passion for great tasting beers. Make sure that your business plan is robust and far-reaching, and you could soon be buying a bottle of your latest creation down your local!