It’s a historic time for craft beer. As the industry gains market share and is seeing an unprecedented growth in popularity and sales, a huge number of craft breweries are opening all across the country.
Let’s face the truth. You’ve always dreamt of a job where you aren’t bound to a desk and a major part of your day is spent on drinking tankards of beer, on company money. You’ve always envied those who work at a brewery.
While working or running a microbrewery is nothing like your average desk job, it comes with its own set of challenges and hurdles. It isn’t all rosy and tinted as you imagine. With that said, it must also be noted that it’s never boring and comes with an exciting set of ever-changing challenges and is entirely satisfying.
Now, it’s time to take a closer look at the lifecycle of setting up a microbrewery. Right from the moment the idea pops into your mind, to the time you sell your first beer, there are several stages involved. Let’s take a peep into the lifecycle of a craft brewery and what it takes to become successful in the industry.
STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT OF A CRAFT BREWERY
Running a brewery requires more hands-on involvement when compared to other regular enterprises. Just like any other business, there are points in the lifecycle of a microbrewery that determine the rate of your growth and ultimately your success. It isn’t a simple equation. Figuring out the formula for success depends on a large number of factors.
The major processes involved are manufacturing and distribution – the infrastructure, procuring the raw materials, the brewing mechanism, space for fermentation, packaging the final product, sales and marketing strategies and not to forget the hospitality component like a taproom or a bar to sample your brews.
Apart from these you also have to take care of the various licensing requirements, trademarks, taxes and insurance, along with complying with both national and state policies.
Every aspect of the process must be aligned to ensure smooth operation. You need to balance stress points to keep the process moving.
The evolution of a craft brewery from yet another start-up to profitable venture is extraordinary. Several experts state that reaching the first thousand is harder, than reaching for the subsequent thousand.
Once you have established a name for yourself in the industry, the journey becomes easier. Here are the six steps that help you on the right track.
STEP 1: DRAFTING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
Once you’ve done your research about starting a microbrewery in India, the next step is to write a solid business plan. Starting a brewery isn’t simple. It requires planning, organisation, heaps of hard work and patience to yield favourable results. And, a solid business plan will help you smoothen out the rough patches you face while starting.
Just like any other business, you need to include the following in the plan:
- What is the overall cost of producing your beer?
- How are you going to sell it and for what price are you going to sell it?
- What makes your beer different from the rest in the market aka your USP?
A detailed and well-researched business plan not only helps to improve your business but also aids in securing initial investment for your business.
STEP 2: FINDING THE IDEAL LOCATION
Once you have drafted your business plan, the next step is to find the perfect place to start your brewery. Will you be operating from your own backyard or will you set up shop in a rented place? Whatever, be your plan, it’s best to choose a location that provides scope for growth and expansion. This will avoid shifting your brewery to another location when you grow.
Ask yourself these questions, when choosing a location:
- Is the local market receptive to craft beer?
- Will I be able to sell it right at the place of production or should I sell it elsewhere?
- Will I be able to procure the right raw materials and workforce at an affordable price?
These questions will help you get started on your search for the ideal location.
STEP 3: CHOOSING THE RIGHT BREWERY EQUIPMENT
The key to finding the right equipment for your microbrewery is to partner with experts in the field. Not only they have the expertise and experience, to help you get started quickly, they are likely to provide you with support if any issues arise later on. Also, when you choose microbrewery equipment supplier, you can reduce the overall costs.
STEP 4: BUILDING A WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH VENDORS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Starting a microbrewery is not a solo endeavour. It requires the support of the local community. You need to identify the right vendors who will provide you with fresh, raw ingredients and plan distribution channels to sell your beer in the neighbouring towns and cities.
These relationships not only help you have a smooth operation but also determine how fast you grow your business.
STEP 5: FUNDING A BREWERY
Raising capital for any investment is a daunting task and breweries are no exception. Do you have reserve funds that you will use to set up your microbrewery or will you be starting out with a business loan? Whatever be your means of funding, try to get it under control so that there are no glitches later on.
STEP 6: OBTAINING THE INSURANCE & LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
Just like any other venture, microbreweries require insurance and licensing. While insurance may seem pretty steep at the beginning, insuring your business will work out in your favour in the long run. It protects you from any accidents at work and other damages.
Also, you need to obtain special licenses before you can brew and sell your beer in the market. These licensing policies vary from state to state in India.
WRAPPING IT UP
Above all, remember that no one business plan works out for all. While microbreweries may look similar, each one differs from the next one by a vast gap. Try to understand your business and come up with a solution that fits your exact requirements.
“DREAM BEER & MAKE BEER AT YOUR OWN MICROBREWERY”
M/s Rohit Jafa Brewing Solutions is one of the best microbrewery equipment suppliers in India. If you are looking to set up a microbrewery in India, you can contact us where we can discuss on the advantages, complete business plan, likely pitfalls etc. so that whatever money you spend gives you the best yield. You can contact us at www.microbreweryindia.com or call us at +91 98112-33358.