Choosing the right craft brewery location can make your new craft brewery on the road to success. Micet Group will let you know how to choose a craft brewery location.
The craft beer industry is on an upward trajectory of explosive development. Around the world, a new craft brewery is opened every day on average. But, because of strict government regulations and high costs, it has become difficult to open a craft brewery. When opening a craft brewery, you will make many mistakes just like starting other new businesses. If you choose the wrong craft brewery location and space, it will be an irreparable mistake. But you can avoid choosing the wrong location and space by learning. This is the guarantee for your craft brewery on the road to profitability. When choosing the right facility, you need to consider the following five factors: local regulations, space requirements, aesthetics, public facilities, and facility design.
Learn and understand local regulations
When you consider where to open a craft brewery, the first thing you need to learn and understand is the laws of your state. Each state has its own set of laws and regulations, which are used to determine where craft breweries can and cannot be opened. State laws can help you quickly understand where breweries can be opened in towns, and most importantly, where in towns are prohibited. Although the laws of each state are different, most of these prohibited areas are close to schools and churches. You can obtain this information through the website of the local government, as this is usually publicly listed information.
Another important part of local regulations is the regulations that control signs, fences, and building heights. Although this content will be relatively long and strict, you must fully understand and study, especially the requirements of the California area. You also need to thoroughly understand fire codes and building codes, as this may affect your brewery design. Also, don’t forget to apply for a zoning permit, which can help you legally brew on the land of your choice.
When understanding and researching state laws and local regulations, it is very important that you go out and meet with local government officials in your area. There is an unfounded misunderstanding about the alcoholic beverage industry. Meeting with local government officials can let them know who you are and you will abide by their local laws and regulations here. This will pave the way for future government officials to adopt a more positive attitude towards brewery owners.
Estimate your utility costs
Brewery rent is usually a major consideration for ongoing facility costs, but utility costs will account for a large part of your brewery’s monthly expenses, so you need to carefully estimate utility costs. There are two main parts of utility costs: energy costs and water costs.
Operating a craft brewery means that during the brewing process (from mashing to fermentation to bottling), you use a lot of energy to keep the facility cool. If you are planning to buy a brewery run by someone else, you can get last year’s usage report from the utility company and estimate the energy usage this year. If you open a new craft brewery, please get estimates and rates so that you can work with the brewer to estimate energy costs.
Water is one of the most important components of craft beer (accounting for 80-90% of craft beer ingredients), so you need to use a lot of water. In addition to understanding usage reports and rates, you need to understand the quality of the water supply and the different types of water treatment methods that may be required. Most municipalities add chlorine or chloramines to domestic water, and you need to distill the water. If your craft brewery uses well water for brewing, it usually requires more treatment. When you start researching the water you will use, check the local government website. Most cities publish information on the quality of water and the different forms of treatment used.
Know your space requirements
When choosing the right brewery location, the biggest factor to consider is square footage. Generally speaking, the larger the building, the higher the price. So, we must carefully check how much space we need. Craft breweries produce less than 100,000 gallons of craft beer each year, but even small-batch brewing equipment requires a lot of space. The best way is to perform a break-even analysis. How much beer do you need to produce/sell to achieve a break-even?
Once the break-even analysis is completed, the capacity and production requirements can be processed. This is a good time to seek help from the brewery engineer. You can also consult the brewery equipment manufacturer and they will also help you. The engineer can help determine whether you need 500L brewery equipment or 1000L brewery equipment, as well as the number and capacity of fermentation tanks you need. When buying brewery equipment, you also need to remember another important thing: the height of the building. The height of the fermentation tank is usually between 5-9 feet, and the brewhouse equipment varies greatly due to the different heights of the design. If the building height of the brewery is limited, wider equipment will be needed to make up for it, which means more square feet.
Do you still need a tasting room? If you don’t want to rely solely on the distribution as your source of income, you will also need enough space as a tasting room to display and sell your craft beer.
Design your brewery
When you start to narrow your search for suitable facilities, you need to judge whether the building is conducive to brewing beer. Now that you have a rough idea of how many square feet you need, you can create a simple blueprint for the building and determine whether it is suitable for brewing beer. This is another good time to involve brewery engineers because CAD drawings are much more professional than drawing on napkins.
Let’s take a look at the production workshop. We will use the process of brewing beer as a demonstration. The process of brewing beer is as follows:
- Step 1-The malt is crushed in the crusher;
- Step 2-The crushed malt enters the mashing bucket and becomes a paste;
- Step 3-The mushy wort enters the filter tank for filtration;
- Step 4-The wort enters the boiling pot for boiling;
- Step 5-The boiled wort enters the cyclone for precipitation;
- Step 6-The wort after spinning needs to be cooled;
- Step 7-The cooled wort will enter the fermenter for fermentation;
- Step 8-After the fermentation is completed, the beer needs to be conditioned;
- Step 9-The beer after conditioning needs to be filtered, and the filling can be started after filtering;
You have understood the beer production process and capacity requirements, so you can try to put the brewery equipment on your blueprint. To save energy and space, your brewhouse equipment and fermentation tanks need to be close to each other. The design of brewhouse equipment is related to your brewery capacity and the size of the brewery space. The engineers of Micet Craft can customize and design the brewery for you free of charge according to the size of your brewery space.
The driving factor for the rapid growth of the craft beer industry is high-end. High-end means that consumers are willing to pay more for products that they consider unique. Successful craft breweries not only sell delicious beers, but they also sell stories. When you are ready to make your final choice, look for brewery equipment like your brand. Think about what words consumers will use to describe your beer, and then combine these words to find brewery equipment. If you can’t find the equipment that matches your brand and spirit, then the engineers of Micet Craft can design a beautiful brewery according to your vision.
Through these 5 notes, you will find the perfect facility for your craft brewery. Remember, this will be a daunting task. You certainly don’t want any wrong moves (especially when it comes to your brewery facilities) to endanger your brewery’s success.