I’ve had a few queries about whats involved when starting a brewery so here’s a few things to look out for but if you are thinking of starting one then please read Annika Naschitzki’s blog first. Everything that she has described we’re currently experiencing.
Here’s a list
- Register the business
- Set up your location with licensing and MPI regulations in mind e.g. licensing or the Police for that matter might not be to happy about you opening a brewery next door to a primary school
- Liquor licensing – apart from the paperwork you’ll need to apply for a managers cert which also means you need to attend an LCQ course oh and expect a visit from a liquor licensing officer.
- Food Control Plan – National Programme Level 3, apart from the paperwork an Environmental Health officer will inspect your location so make sure you know about food hygiene and practices. Attending a course will definitely help but it isn’t essential, yet.
- Customs – apart from the paperwork a customs officer will visit your location and go through your requirements to become an excise tax client and to register your location as a customs controlled area.
- Website / Social media / invoicing / accounting software, business accounts, etc. Expect around three months for this to complete, mind you I did it around Christmas therefore it could be done quicker? Oh yeah and be prepared to pull out the plastic$ for this, sorry I’m too scared to go back and see exactly how much it costs.
Most suppliers will require you to pay cash for at least three months or until some history is established before a full account is established.
Gladfields, Danstar Yeast, Cryermalt, NZ Hops, Fermentis Yeast, Wyeast or Whitelabs, Kegstar or KegCo, O-I for bottles, these are your main suppliers to start with.
No matter what size you plan to start with you must cover hot, cold and storage with risk mitigation in mind i.e. you must understand where your inefficiencies are and plan towards reducing your risk in these areas. For example, (DO) dissolved oxygen will kill your beer so plan to get that number as low as possible.
Probably the most important part of building a brewery, but building the brand takes a lot of time, money and work because it isn’t as simple as slapping on a label and assuming it’ll sell. There is a lot of competition out there so be prepared for this to take a while, years!!!
Probably the second most important part of building a brewery and if your good with sales then that’s a bonus, but be prepared to get knocked back a few hundred times. I suck at sales but we’ve just learnt from watching Tinker Tailor that you really need to have a presence so we’re working on that. For more detailed advice on retailers send me an email or come into the shop.
At some stage you will have to answer this question as a brewer, “should I dump this beer?”. Now lets put this into context. The beer is okay, it has no off flavours but its lacking in bitterness or the flavour profile isn’t what you wanted. Do you still sell it, or do you tip hundreds of dollars down the sink. What if its 400 x 500ml bottles worth close to $3k and the brewery needs cash-flow? Now the answer isn’t so simple aye. My answer; it is simple and I’ve learnt this the hard way; retailers and consumers are taking a risk by trying a product that isn’t proven therefore your first impressions should knock people over. When starting out DO NOT settle for okay beer put your best product out there to help build some trust.
Be prepared to make a lot of mistakes because there isn’t a manual out there to follow and if you don’t ask you’re only guessing. Most breweries know the struggle and will offer advice.
Well, that’s it from me, flick me an email if you have any questions [email protected] or come to the shop and we’ll have a chat
Take care everyone,