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What You Should Know Before Expanding Your Brewery

What You Should Know Before Expanding Your Brewery

Nothing beats a good beer. The perfect combination and mixture in a cool glass after a long day really hits the spot. And beer, like a lot of alcohol, is tricky. Finding the perfect blend takes a while; it’s a lot of trial and error in the beginning stages.

Some small productions are fortunate enough to hit it out of the park and then gain a substantial following. If you’re one of the fortunate ones and currently looking to take things to the next level, here’s what you should know before expanding your brewery.

Understand Distribution

Most brewery owners decide to expand because their current market has shown promising profits. The current success is enough to convince them that an expansion is in their best interest. Of course, if there is already a decent following, using that momentum as a tool for further development is an excellent strategy.

However, before gearing up to get things in motion, it is ideal to familiarize yourself with the distribution platform. Where do you want to expand your market and how do you gain a good relationship with those businesses?

Look for sales outside of an owned pub. This can be through wholesalers to on-premise and off-premise accounts. There are liquor stores, bars, and restaurants that are willing to sell your beer if it fits into their image and business plan.

Brainstorm New Strategies

Developing a brewer on a larger scale means preparing every batch differently. The process will involve more work because of the quantity. The slightest change in preparation could alter the taste of the beer—and a bad batch means starting over from scratch.

There will need to be a change in daily operations to keep the recipe consistent. For example, you might need to re-pitch the yeast in yeast brinks to keep everything fresh. This could also result in a change of equipment and the storing process. The key is to change as little as possible when it comes to the main ingredients for each brew.

Restaurant Business

Selling to a pub is different from selling to a restaurant and expanding to those areas displays some challenges. For starters, there needs to be a lot of research that goes into this market. The restaurant business appeals to its clientele differently from stores, and therefore, your interest needs to align with theirs.

Additionally, you’ll need to conduct thorough research on their sales, trafficked business, and food services. Pairing their meals with your beer makes all the difference. Figure out what restaurants in the current area you’re interested in hold the most promise.

Government Regulations

The regulations change from state to state. There are not many Federal regulations when it comes to breweries, but those rules differ for every state. Familiarize yourself with all the current guidelines. For every state, there will be:

  • Excise tax record keeping
  • Wastewater compliance reports
  • State alcohol beverage laws
  • Food and Drug Administration audits

These are just to name a few. There might be more restrictions and roadblocks along the way, and it’s better to do this research early.

Expanding a brewery is great for business, especially when you arm yourself with all the information you should know early on.

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