Brewing Equipment Costs

Brewing Equipment Costs

The brewing industry has proliferated in recent years, with more ingredients and equipment available to amateur homebrewers, and craft breweries, microbreweries, and brewpubs becoming very popular.  But how much does brewing equipment cost? This guide will detail how much it will cost and what equipment you will need to start a brewery.

How size a brewery should you start?

The size of your brewery is significant to your setup costs, as the size of your equipment will have a significant impact on your costs. Micet Group recommends going for as large a piece of equipment as possible within your budget. This is because 1000L brewery equipment does not cost twice as much as 500L brewery equipment. For example, a full 500L of brewery equipment will cost $70,000, while a 1000L of brewery equipment might only cost $85,000. You will only have to pay for the extra materials and slightly larger ancillary equipment, such as a chiller.

It takes the same amount of time to brew in a larger brewing system. Therefore, a larger brewing system will give you more bang for your buck. A surprising number of brewers we spoke to said they wanted to scale up their new brewery within 6 months of opening it. Therefore, when planning your brewery, spend a lot of time determining the size of the brewing system you will need. If possible, you should estimate the expected growth of your brewing business to ensure that the brewing system will last at least 5 years.

How size a brewery should you start?

Where is the brewery opening?

The location of your brewery will also be a determining factor in your startup costs. What type of brewery do you plan to be? A craft brewery? A home brewery? Or a commercial brewery?

Brewery location choices usually take into account several factors:

  • Market demand: breweries usually choose to be located in densely populated areas or where there is potential market demand to ensure easier sales and distribution.
  • Raw material availability: Choosing a location close to raw materials such as malt and hops can reduce transportation costs and ensure the freshness and quality of the ingredients.
  • Water quality: Beer is brewed from raw materials such as water, malt, hops, and yeast, so water quality is very important. Choosing an area with good water quality ensures a high-quality beer is brewed.
  • Industrial environment and regulations: Breweries need to comply with local environmental regulations and industrial standards, so the surrounding environment needs to be considered when selecting a site.
  • Transportation and Logistics: Site selection also requires consideration of transportation accessibility and logistics costs to ensure efficient and smooth transportation of raw materials and finished products.

Brewery Startup Costs

Small or Microbrewery

Starting a nano brewery that produces less than 500 barrels of beer per year usually requires a budget of about $50,000 to $100,000. Of course, costs will vary depending on factors such as equipment and location. For example, it may cost more to start a nanobrewery in an area with higher rents than in an area with cheaper rents. However, careful planning can help you minimize expenses and establish an efficient operation.


For a microbrewery producing 500 to 15,000 barrels of beer per year, start-up costs can range from $250,000 to $1,000,000. As with microbreweries, factors such as equipment, location, and finishes play an important role in determining costs. For example, a microbrewery with state-of-the-art equipment may have higher startup costs than a microbrewery with used or refurbished equipment. Therefore, you need to weigh your options and prioritize costs to stay within your budget.

Large Breweries

Finally, starting a large brewery that produces more than 15,000 barrels per year can cost millions of dollars. Keep in mind that the size of production, equipment, and other previously mentioned factors will affect your overall costs. By conducting thorough research and developing a detailed business plan, you can secure funding and set realistic expectations for the initial costs of your brewery.

Brewing Equipment Costs

Investing in high-quality brewing equipment is essential to producing consistent, top-notch beer. The size and type of equipment needed depend on your production capacity and the type of beer you plan to brew. Key components include kettles, fermenters, heat exchangers, and cooling systems.

List of Brewing Equipment:

  • Brewery (e.g., wort mixer, lauter, and brew kettle/whirlpool)
  • Moulin à malt
  • Échangeur de chaleur
  • Système de chauffage
  • Fermenteur
  • Bright tank (BBT)
  • Glycol system for beer cooling
  • Cold water tank (optional)
  • Réservoir d'eau chaude
  • Keg cleaner
  • CIP unit (optional for small breweries)
  • Mobile pump
  • Beer hoses
  • Panneau de contrôle
  • Câbles et tuyauteries
  • Packaging equipment (bottle or can)

In addition to brewing equipment, you will also need a variety of other items, such as kegs, bottling or canning equipment, storage racks, and quality control tools. Don’t forget to budget for essentials such as glassware, tap handles, and cleaning supplies.

Brewing equipment is often the largest cost encountered when starting a brewery. Small-capacity brewing equipment (1 barrel, producing 320 12-ounce barrels of beer) can usually be purchased new or used for $100,000 or less. However, for a large 30-barrel brewing system that can produce 9,600 12-ounce bottles of beer, you may have to pay up to $1 million.

Reasons affecting the cost of brewing equipment

  • Raw material costs: mainly include malt, hops, yeast, and water. The prices of these raw materials are affected by market supply and demand, seasonal variations, and regional differences.
  • Energy costs: The brewing process requires energy, such as heat for heating the wort and electricity for stirring, cooling, and other equipment operations.
  • Labor Costs: Includes wages, training, and benefits for brewers, plant workers, and managers.
  • Equipment depreciation and maintenance costs: the cost of purchasing and maintaining brewing equipment is an important part of the cost.
  • Transportation and packaging costs: the cost of transporting the finished product to market and packaging also need to be taken into account.
  • Taxes: Taxes can also have an impact on costs as different countries and regions have different tax policies for alcohol.
  • Marketing costs: including advertising, promotion, and marketing activities, these costs are also one of the costs that breweries need to consider.

Taking all these factors into consideration, the brewing cost of beer will be different, and will also vary according to factors such as production scale, technology level, and market positioning.

Questions fréquemment posées

What is the average startup cost for a brewery?

Startup costs for breweries vary widely, depending on factors such as location, size, and equipment. A small brewery may require an investment of about $100,000, while a large brewery may require more.

Do I need a specific license to open a small brewery?

Yes, small breweries must obtain a Brewer’s Notice from the Federal Tax and Trade Administration, as well as any necessary state and local licenses and permits.

What are the profit margins for breweries?

Brewery profit margins vary, but the industry average is between 5% and 20%. Factors that affect profit margins include production efficiency, pricing, and marketing strategies.