SYWTOABP: Top 10 Takeaways
When I volunteered to write the “So you want to open a Brew Pub” blog post series, I had a rough idea of how many posts I was going to need to write, how much time I was going to have to spend researching costs and industry regulations, but in the end I probably spent a lot more time and energy on this series of posts than anyone expected. I tend to write lengthy rambling posts going into more detail than is necessary, so I often go back and rewrite the material into a short, snappy, Top 10 style list of key takeaways.
These are the key takeaways from the entire series:
- A brew pub will cost more to open than you and your friends think it will when discussing the idea over a pint of beer. I estimated minimum startup costs at around three quarters of a million dollars. This spreadsheet will help end arguments.
- In addition to more money it will take more time to get a brew pub open and fully operational than you originally estimate.
- The single most important decision you will make is choosing a location.
- “When applying for a liquor manufacturing license, a business plan, including financial statements outlining production and sales forecasts for a three year period, must be submitted.” I created a lot of spreadsheets for this series, but every business is unique and requires customized spreadsheets to maximize accuracy.
- The SYWTOABP series of blog posts provides more information on opening a brew pub than any book I’ve been able to find, but I didn’t write a complete brew pub business plan, however I did create a guide to writing a business plan.
- Consultants exist but it is in your long term best interest to know your business intimately including all key numbers.
- Your business plan and financial projections are only as good as your market and industry research.
- A brew pub is in the restaurant and foodservices industry, not the brewing industry.
- If you just want to be in the business of brewing beer, consider opening a small brewery.
- If you want to serve superior beer, hire a superior brewmaster.