The Official Make you own alcoholic beverage Thread(no, not mixed drink)

2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 2017 in For The Grown & Sexy
How to launch your own beer brand for $5,000

You’ve run the numbers for starting a craft brewery—and you’re absolutely shocked at the costs. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to already be operating, but you can’t keep up with demand.

In either case, one lower-cost alternative is contract brewing. Here’s what you need to know.
What is contract brewing?

With contract brewing, you hire another brewery to brew and package beer for you, or you can rent out another brewer’s facility and brew the beer yourself. It’s still your beer: You own the recipe and decide how the beer is made.

“The contract brewing model is often is a lot less labor- and time-intensive to get a brand to market, because you have a brewery already set up and ready to roll to brew that brand,” says Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association, a trade group with more than 3,800 U.S. brewery members.

Lower brewing startup costs

The startup costs for a craft brewery can easily exceed $1 million, depending mainly on the size of the operation and its location. Costs include essential brewing equipment, such as kettles, kegs, boilers and fermentation tanks. Upgrading equipment to meet increased demand can also be costly.

“On top of that, when you are a brick-and-mortar brewery, you are dealing with a lot of compliance by making alcoholic beverages in the U.S.,” Herz says, referring to the licensing, permitting and government paperwork involved with this industry.

By contrast, for $5,000, startups can launch a beer brand, says Page Buchanan, owner and founder of House of Brews in Madison, Wisconsin, which offers contract brewing services.

Once they start, owners need to think hard about marketing their beer and building a following, Buchanan says.

More established breweries also turn to contract brewing to save money.
Everything you need to do in your 20s for a great financial future
Contract brewing drawbacks

Contract brewing can save you time, money and stress, but it does have potential drawbacks.

No local presence: You’re handing over your production to another brewery, which may not sit well with customers. New breweries often gain traction in the marketplace by having a local presence, a brewpub or a taproom where the beer is brewed that people can visit, Herz says.

“The key with craft brewers today is integrity behind the brand, the people and a presence behind the brand,” she says.

Contract brewer relationship: The brewery you work with needs to be reliable and trustworthy; it should fill your orders on time and follow recipes exactly as instructed. Ideally, you’ll want to work closely with the brewery and oversee its brewing process.

Networking logistics: Finding a contract brewing service may be tough, as there’s no directory of contract breweries. You could join a brewery association and network with brewery owners who have gone the contract brewing route. This can help you decide if it’s is a fit for your business and, if so, find contract brewers in your area or near a desired distribution point.

No matter which route you choose, the goal remains the same: to produce a quality brew that stands out from the competition.

“Beer is more than just marketing. For many beer lovers, it’s also what’s in the glass and where it came from,” Herz says.

For more details on getting your business off the ground, check out NerdWallet’s guide on how to start a business.


  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Britain is full of breweries. According to figures from the Campaign for Real Ale, there are now 1,009 in the UK, more than double the number a decade ago. A nation with one of the richest brewing heritages in the world has fallen back in love with beer.

    But how easy is it to set up on your own? Evin O'Riordain, founder of the Kernel, based in Bermondsey, London, knows better than most. Opening in 2009, he has become one of the most respected small brewers.
    Brewing begins at home

    O'Riordain, 38, began homebrewing after a trip to New York in April 2007. Trying it out himself was crucial to discovering how to reproduce the intense, citrus-hop flavours he had enjoyed in the US. "It took me a while," he says. "The first batch was decent, but it was only after about 12 brews that some started coming out really well."
    Make new friends

    O'Riordain also learnt some key lessons as a member of London Amateur Brewers. There are brewing faults you might miss, he says, such as diacetyl (a buttery taste caused by a flawed fermentation) that others are more sensitive to. "It's important to have people who critique your beer in an honest way," he says. "The first rule at London Amateur Brewers was: don't say anything nice. Be slightly harder than you would be normally, so we can dig out what's happening. How do we fix it, make it better? That's how you improve."
    But don't forget your old ones

    Having been a cheesemonger at Neal's Yard Dairy, O'Riordain knew people in the food industry and those contacts helped him find a site for the brewery. "Neal's Yard let us know that there was an arch going in Druid Street, next to where they were," he says.

    At first, he brewed once a week while continuing to sell Gorwydd caerphilly at Borough Market on weekends. "The only way people knew about us was word of mouth. That first year, Neal's Yard sent 10 bottles to all their favourite customers at Christmas. There's quite a few who are still customers now." He has since repaid that kindness to fellow brewers: last year he donated his first professional brewing kit to fellow Bermondsey brewery Partizan.
    Find the right kit

    O'Riordain bought his brewing equipment from Porter Brewery Installations, whose smallest kit – containing everything you'll need to get started, and producing 400 litres of beer with each brew – costs £10,600. The Kernel started on a slightly larger, four-barrel kit (600 litres a brew), which costs £15,100. The price includes a demonstration brew, crucial for those whose experience of professional breweries is non-existent. If you're short of funds, it's possible to start even smaller: down the road from The Kernel is Brew By Numbers, who began with a tiny kit in a Southwark basement, which allowed them to build a reputation before any serious investment.
    When it comes to flavour, keep it simple

    The New York trip helped O'Riordain decide the sort of beer he wanted to make: clean-tasting and hop-forward, unlike most of those then available in the UK. "American hops have a certain intensity," he says. "You use a very clean yeast and it becomes a platform for the hops."

    Experimentation has its limits, he believes: "There's something very engaging about it, but the results aren't always there."
    The costs can mount up

    High rents can be a problem when looking for a space. "Initially it's a bit tough, but as long as your rent is fixed for the foreseeable future, you can plan for it."

    O'Riordain also spent £15,000 refitting his arch: this included electrics, flooring, plumbing and drainage. The most basic bottling equipment costs £500 and even the bottles for his initial brew cost £200.

    Then there's beer duty, something that is partly offset by small breweries' relief, which gives a sizeable tax break to smaller breweries. It's one reason why it's important to have people around you who understand the financial side. "I rely on my accountant," O'Riordain says. "We're making enough money to survive, to pay everybody who works here a good wage. That's the bottom line."

    Bottling is a tedious business

    Initially The Kernel bottled by hand, which means labelling, cleaning, filling and capping each one. "It's the banality of it that sticks out," says O'Riordain. "You get to know the person next to you very well when you're bottling." He now has a bottling machine, which cost £65,000.
    Trusting people pays off

    The Kernel's approach is about transparency: the brewery is open to the public on Saturday mornings, they don't advertise, and deal directly with many stockists. Even the labelling is functional: sparse black printed on brown paper.

    Remarkably little promotional work has been done, considering the brewery's level of success (he's now brewing four times a week). "It's to do with having a little bit of faith in humanity," says O'Riordain. "We don't tell people what something is going to taste like: people can make that decision themselves."

    Not all modern brewers are so laidback and there are other, more obvious routes to success. Fraserburgh's Brewdog has used humorous, sometimes aggressive marketing to make its point. It's worked: Brewdog recently opened a new £8m brewery and has 11 bars in the UK and one in Stockholm.
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    you ? should take a leap of faith...

    make a beer or alcohol bottle it and try it out during your next get together.

    take tips and feedback....perfect your ?

    an start a brand
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    and find a distributor.....
    get out there an make some ? money

    or at least try
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Busta Carmichael
    Busta Carmichael Members, Moderators Posts: 13,161 Regulator
    Props fam.

    Always got dope threads