Starting a Brewery

Brewery Equipment

Starting a brewery is a dream that a lot of amateur beer brewers have.  Many home brewers love the process of creating a different type of beer every month and sharing that joy with friends and family.  Making that leap from brewing a couple gallons to a full fledged brewing operation is a huge leap that requires a great deal of understanding, both of the economics of brewing beer and the local regulations you are going to face.

Equipment

There are a lot of different pieces of equipment that will be required to get started.  These include the following:

  • Kettles
  • Kegs
  • Boilers
  • Bottling and Canning Lines
  • Conveyors
  • Cooling Systems
  • Storage Tanks
  • Fermentation Tanks
  • Filters and Beer Labeling Machines
  • Piping and Tubing
  • Refrigeration Equipement
  • Cleaning Equipment
  • Waste Management System
  • Tap Handles

Beer Kegs

All cost of these systems are generally going to come down to 2 different factors.  The first factor is the size of the equipment.  You can start with purchasing equipment with a brewing capacity as small as 1 barrel (equivalent to 31 gallons) all the way up to systems that accommodate 30 barrels.  Generally, when you are starting off you will want to work on the smaller end of the scale of size.  Larger systems cost more to run and have larger time requirements for maintenance like cleaning.  The second factor to consider is whether to buy equipment new or used.  Obviously used equipment is going to be less costly than new equipment, but what you are paying for when you buy new equipment is that you know its history (since there is none).  You are paying for knowing exactly how it has been treated and how it has been taken care of.

Financing

Equipment cost is often a huge barrier when people look into starting a brewery.  Equipment costs generally start around $100,000 for a small, used system and can go all the way up to $1 million for a new 30 barrel system.  If you have sufficient credit history and credit score then you may be able to secure a line of credit to purchase the requisite equipment.  If you have negative items on your credit reports there is a Phoenix credit repair service that can work to correct inaccurate items on your reports to raise your score and help secure financing.  There are also some crowdfunding vehicles that may be an option, but you will have to investigate them for yourself as the ability to use this type of financing is still in its infancy and there is not a lot of information regarding it.

Regulations

This is the other part of starting a brewery that gets people in trouble.  Each state has a lot of different rules about the distribution of alcohol.  Which type of license you are required to have to sell in your building, if a certain percentage of your revenue comes from food, what locations are available to you, and many many more.  Find out the requirements of getting and keeping the type of license you need before committing to the purchase of any equipment or renting a location.