How to Start a Microbrewery – Essential Preparations

With a booming craft beer industry in the UK, it’s definitely an exciting time to think about setting up your own microbrewery or brew pub.

Before taking the leap, have a read through the following tips on what you can do beforehand to prepare for this challenge.

Master the art of brewing

While you might have meddled in a bit of home brewing and have a diverse beer palate, it’s important to get from amateur to professional standard if you want to start a microbrewery.

Spend time learning the basics of how to brew beer before moving onto experimenting with different tastes. Don’t be afraid at this stage to be innovative and think outside the box.

After all, making mistakes and creating disgusting concoctions will help you on your journey to finally getting it right. You could even recruit friends and family members as brutally honest taste testers!

If, besides beer drinking, you’re a complete brewing novice, consider taking a course or getting a job at a local brewery in order to see first-hand what goes into running a business such as this.

Building up that foundation knowledge and truly getting an insight into the trade will be priceless when it’s time to launch your own exciting enterprise.

Rather than rushing into anything before you’re ready, take the slowly but surely route and build up some solid expertise.

Network like there’s no tomorrow

In any industry, networking is paramount for building mutually-beneficial professional relationships with those in your field.

Sign up to specialised networking groups locally and nationally and start getting to know people.

This could be through social media channels such as LinkedIn, attending events or a combination of both.

You could even set up a beer blog that could eventually be used to promote your brewery.

Register with key organisations that champion UK microbreweries such as the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).

Also make an effort to reach key annual events in the brewing field such as the Great British Beer Festival organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Become a familiar face on the circuit while picking up invaluable business tips on everything from equipment and suppliers to marketing and selecting the right location.

Research your market

It’s ideal to know the market inside and out if you’re planning to launch a successful business.

Researching local microbreweries and suppliers and sampling their products is a great place to start.

Seeing what else is out there will help you to create something unique and fill a gap in the market.

Being able to source reasonably-priced, quality ingredients locally will also influence the direction of your business.

Aside from checking out any competition to find ways of standing out, you could test out some of your brews on the public by setting up a pop-up shop at a beer festival or in a busy shopping area at the weekend.

Organise your finances

Launching your own microbrewery requires a lot of money.

There’s specialised equipment to buy, a business premises lease to pay and plenty of other costs to ensure you’ve got all of the ingredients, packaging and marketing materials organised.

After you’ve carried out your market research and have decided what products to offer, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of how to turn your dream into a reality.

This is where you should put a business plan together detailing the likes of how much money you’ll need over the first few years, financial targets, the amount of credit needed and estimated profit.

You’ll also want to research the best business insurance for your niche to ensure your business is fully protected before it’s up and running.

Do you have plans to jump on the beer boom bandwagon by setting up your own business? Get your brewery or pub insurance arranged now with The Insurance Octopus.