Craft Beer Brewery as a Business: How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Successful Business
Anyone can grab a pack of Budweiser from the grocery store, but craft breweries offer unique flavor profiles and personalities that their customers can relate to. For the purpose of online marketing, that can account for a lot. People value authenticity in the brands they purchase.
If you started a microbrewery in your home and are looking to expand to reach new markets, brands, and restaurants, we recommend using the following steps to capitalize on your hobby.
Brewing good beer takes a good amount of time. Before you start thinking about the business portion of your project, you first need to commit to the art of beer itself. If you’re like most homebrewers, your first batch probably tasted beyond awful.
Before you can take your hobby to the next level, you have to consistently produce high-quality beer and master the basics. Even experts have a bad batch every now and then, but you need to make it your purpose to iron out the kinks. Otherwise, your beer business will surely flop.
Beer brewing is all about creativity and experimentation. If you want to be the best brewer in town, you’ll have to come up with a beer that’s unique to your brand. All breweries have that one mix, flavor, or beer type that customers can’t get anywhere else, narrowing the market.
Try out combinations you’re unsure of, and add ingredients people don’t normally find in beer. For example, Brewmeister’s Snake Venom beer is the “strongest beer in the world.” With 67.5% ABV, the beer is so dense it can’t be carbonated or drunk in one sitting. Now, that’s clever!
You probably already have a beer-making kit or a kit brewed at home, but if you want to scale, you’ll need heavy-duty equipment. Purchase needed items like a fermenting bucket, C02 airlock, stirrer, and a large, complete fermentation kit (with yeast, sanitizer, water bottle).
If you plan to put your beer in a bottle, find a way to cap the bottles quickly. Either get a few friends together to cap your product or purchase a small automated capping machine. Add custom decals to the sides of your bottles and on top of the cap to give your beer personality.
Develop a business plan
Like any other business, you should have a plan and strategy for your brewery business. Here are important points to consider if you decide to open your own brewery:
- Business plan creation
- Taxes & accounting — you should make sure that your business is legal and operates in accordance with local laws and regulations
- Brewery funding
- Beer price — here is a useful guide to craft beer pricing by Untappd.
- Offline and online marketing
Just Go For It!
Getting your brewing business off the group is pretty intimidating, but plenty of brewers were exactly where you are now. If you want to gain any traction in the industry, you’ll need to break into the microbrewing market as soon as possible, either with employees or family members.
You’ll have to figure out the nuances of choosing a business model, adhering to legal statutes, and gaining your licensing and permits. Then, focus on defining your brand, understanding your financial overhead, and building your infrastructure. Finally, put your beer online with a website.
Don’t Give Up
Trying to gain traction as an entrepreneur is no easy task, and building connections with other brewers can often feel like an uphill battle. Although it’s hard not to get discouraged, do your best to face adversity as it comes; it’ll make you a business owner, brewer, and person.
There are plenty of brewers who want to help you; you just need to ask. As long as you aren’t their direct competition, they’ll likely lend a hand. Always keep an eye out for opportunities and resources you can take advantage of. Most of all, be patient. Good things take time!
- Written by James Hills
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