Building a brewery

Working in our brewery, we hear from time to time the popular refrain/war cry “Lets open a Brewery!' We've heard this courageous cry among home brewers, and would be home brewers/entrepreneurs around San Diego for the last few years or so. So what does it take to start brewing some craft beer for our friends on a commercial level? Money? Sure, but the business world is a complicated one, and some techniques should be adhered to, before we put the down payment on our lease and put the boil on.

The initial capital required to start a small brewery (around three to five Hundred thousand dollars) is just the start folks, the expenses do not stop there, and a major overlook by small business is the operating budget for the next fiscal 12 months. When we start up a new company the monthly budget is factored in, therefore eliminating all worry about our rent, additional equipment, and more importantly, our salary. Remembering capital is always around and can be had, allows us to work on our formula, and with numbers in the black, investors invariably show up for the next phase. Having this freedom will free us up to work on our product, to keep sharpening our pencil, and to stay ahead of the game.

I've said it before, “get the right help!” The first impressions of any start up are of most value, and when we are not ready for the deluge of opening night with professional bartenders and the service, we lose customers. The professional beer maker in charge of the brew house, sales reps acquiring new accounts, marketing and advertising, are just the beginning offices needed, for instance, it is not the job of an outside accountant to manage our company's best interests, this would be the CFO’s work. The formulation of a team should be worked on consistently, and in a recession it is an optimum time to do so, lots of help available, and college majors are always looking too. Make relationships for the long term, build the team, and allow them the responsibilities which come with each position, allowing us to work on our business, and not in it it.

Making money is the work of the U.S. Mint, not ours, and in the business world we do not talk about making money, we make numbers, which should work to make bigger numbers. Of course, the real reason to start business at all is to help fulfill a need with our skills, to alleviate the problems we see with our solutions. Helping someone in our immediate village first, whether it be with a quality hand crafted beer, or an apprenticeship in the office or brew house, should be our main objective when starting any enterprise.

Meanwhile back at the brewery, the latest batch of Dunkelweizen tastes wonderful, fruity banana like flavors and cloves, yummy. At the end of the day, this what it is all about, making a righteous product and always working on improving it, complacency being the bane of entrepreneurs. It is proven, opening a Brewery or any other business is copious amounts of work, but the reward pays off with accomplishment, fun is to had too. Be adequately dialed in to the local movers and shakers, and move in the correct orbits with the industry's Guru's, learn from them. When entering business on a professional level, mandatory continued education is suggested, as it will be a lifetime of on the job learning anyway. Cheers, and to our health, which ultimately is our wealth...

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