Your biggest desire right now is to open your own distillery. Whether it’s to serve custom-made wines or craft beers, the business you create all starts with what you want to showcase to the community. Unlike the old-school sports bars many go to when passing the time, there’s something about pubs that feels personable and open to the community. Here’s where to start when opening your first brewery.
Define Your Purpose
Opening a business isn’t just for making money—it’s for growing in your passion and introducing that passion to your community. Every winery and distillery has a story. A brewery doesn’t have a point in the community without your personal story attached to the name, niche, and theme.
If your purpose is to introduce an innovative, unique method of brewing craft beer, mention that on your website. Telling your story shows community members who you are and why you love doing what you do. Personalizing your business sells well and keeps customers coming back.
Decide on Your Distribution Process
You don’t have to know your distribution process right away, but if you’re worried about keeping your beer at a specific temperature—ideally between 50 and 55 degrees—it’s best to start planning now.
Brewers lean towards yeast brewing systems because they’re hygienic, and the quality improves even during transport, among other reasons. Start planning how to develop your brew. How you harvest your beer can determine how far you’ll be able to distribute it.
Research Your State’s Requirements
Don’t set up shop until you understand your state’s rules regarding opening your business. Your local government should have a list of regulations and documentation you will need before opening.
Check in with your town hall about finding the right resources for these documents:
- Brewery name
- Brewer’s notice
- Obtaining a liquor license
- Receiving a bond
- Becoming a member of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Keep in mind that it takes longer to get a brewing license than a business license.
Figure Out Your Marketing
Another step is determining your audience. Since you’ll likely be going up against bigger brands, especially if you’re near a major city, you need to be able to sell well. Where you open can affect how well your business succeeds. If you’re in a rural area, it may be best to move closer to a city. Research the most popular types of craft beers in your state. Market research helps build a good marketing strategy for your business.
As you wrap up reading these four tips for starting your very first brewery, start planning your business strategy, and find your voice. The best businesses always have a passionate owner standing behind the name.