With unashamed predictability, the pubs, bars and clubs of the world are jam-packed with customers since the lockdown ended. For so many people, just being outside, surrounded by a friendly and busy atmosphere, has been exactly what they needed to feel sane again. Those with an eye for business will see this as the perfect opportunity to start a business in this field. Furthermore, governments are shelling out big relief packages to all businesses and grants for startups haven’t just stayed the same, but could well rise in the near future. So it seems like this is the perfect time to start a craft beer company, as the next 6 months will be purely for economic recovery.
A high success rate
According to the Brewer’s Association, in 2017 4,522 microbreweries began and in 2018, 3,993 started. Only 123 of those failed, giving this small but strong field an 83% success rate. You may ask, why is this happening? It’s because local brewers are doing things that large companies are simply too afraid to do. They’re trying new flavors, brewing different ways, they’re also not concerned with mass brewing, so the quality is very high. They take their time to ferment and they will also take the time to refine the alcohol they produce so it doesn’t have a bad aftertaste and isn’t overly relying on the ethanol punch. Retail sales in America, topped $27.6 billion in 2018, making this a viable industry, even when there wasn’t an as-high demand for alcoholic beverages as it is now post-lockdown.
How to begin
You can start a brewing business at minimal cost. If the bootleggers of the prohibition era could do it in their bathtubs, you can do it now, with all this fancy yet affordable equipment. Go to a specialist home brew company that has everything from ingredients, educational blog posts and equipment for home brewing and seek out what you need. They sell cascade hops for £3.88 per 100g, Crushed Maris Otter Pale Ale Malt for £1.32 per 500g. They also sell immersion kits, with an 8mm immersion wort chiller selling for between £32-38.00. A bubble airlock is for £0.70 and 500ml beer bottles sell for £10.00 a dozen. This kind of company is exactly what you need to begin your microbrewery. It has all the basic and advanced equipment, it’s also a good blog from which you can learn a great deal. Read their ‘expectations vs reality’ article and avoid the pitfalls that others have fallen into.
Marketing and ethos
The number one thing you have to remember about microbrewery marketing is staying on point. You’re competing with the big dogs and the other craft alcohol startups. What makes your product so special? You need a clear understanding of brand cultivation and projection. Focus on your distinct brewing techniques, location, ingredients and flavors. This will set your ethos apart from your competition.
For the next 6 months, you have a golden opportunity to build a successful craft beer startup. Don’t miss this chance to become your own boss and make a product you yourself would enjoy on a hot summer’s day.