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So you want to open a Brew Pub? 1st steps to your brewery

Updated: Apr 12

Starting a production brewery has a significantly higher capital outlay.
Cans and bottles of craft beer

So you want to open a Brewpub?


Scary right… it can be, but if you get the right advice the first time it can save you a lot of heartache, coin, and fear of the unknown. Great beer is the right of all Aussies.


The truth about a successful brew operation


Contrary to widely held belief there’s more to being a successful craft brewery than how amazing your beer is. A deep understanding of the market and market research is a valuable activity for all new craft brew businesses to understand the industry, competition, and customers. This will also allow you to understand from a design point of view what type of brewery you require to make your brew dreams a feasible reality.


Which Brewery mode—Brewpub or Production Brewery?


When designing your brewery, it is important to select a brewhouse that is going to meet your:


  • production requirements

  • space constraints

  • budget

  • anticipated growth

  • staff requirements/ litre of beer produced

  • available resources

  • styles of beer that will be produced.


If you fail to appropriately address these issues early in the project they can lead to costly inefficiencies which will damage the profitability and sustainability of your business.


Brewpub


This model is based on producing less than 250 000L/year and selling most of the beer produced over the bar. This model has a high ROI as it has a significantly lower capital expenditure with a higher $/L sold. This is such a viable option as it can be run with minimal staff to produce beer and sell smaller quantities for a higher price.


The profitability drops dramatically when you bring in more staff to make more beer to sell wholesale on a smaller brewhouse. When realistically you could produce double or triple the amount of beer with the same staff cost with a bigger brewhouse.


Production Brewery


This model is based on producing 1 million + L/year capacity. The common rate-determining step in this model quickly becomes sales and marketing. You can easily and cost-effectively produce quality beer and lots of it in this model, which is why you must make sure that you do not drop the ball on marketing.


Positioning yourself well and investing in your brand can quickly win over your target market. In this competitive market, we cannot overstate how important good marketing is.


Somewhere in between



We have typically found that breweries of intermediate size seem to struggle to either keep their cost of production down on the small side, or sell beer fast enough to justify the larger end of production—until that tipping point is reached.


Anybody who has witnessed the explosive growth of these breweries would have noted that many start with the brewpub model and when their demand outgrows that model, they scale up to a system that is capable of meeting that 1 million litre a year target. With the capability of reaching an Australia-wide audience.


The short of it


In conclusion, understanding your capabilities along with the market, and conducting research is critical for all new craft breweries. This will help you determine what type of brewery you should build. By taking the time to do this important planning, craft breweries can set themselves up for success.


If you feel like you're flying blind in this department, get in touch with the WellBrewd crew. We have years of experience helping inspired brewers take their success up a notch or two.


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