How Do I Become a Craft Brewer?

Malt extract is known for its use in brewing beer.
Many craft brewers gain experience by working at a brewpub or microbrewery.
Beer.
Three types of beer. Craft brewers use traditional methods of brewing beer.
Hops, which are used to make beer.
A beer barrel.
Article Details
  • Written By: Matt Brady
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Images By: Greg Peverill-Conti, Steve Lovegrove, Volff, Marius Graf, n/a, Brad Pict
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A craft brewer brews and distributes beer on a smaller scale than larger breweries, such as Anheuser-Busch or Molson Coors. Due to the smaller size of the operation, yet the increasing popularity of craft beer, craft brewing is ideally suited to the ambitious entrepreneur who loves beer and seeks to enter an exciting market. To become a craft brewer, you'll first have to discover your own unique style of craft brewing; you'll then need to learn how to become a craft brewer for either a brewpub or a craft brewery, also known as a microbrewery.

Before you become a craft brewer, you’ll need to have some idea of what brew you’d like to produce. Historically, craft brews branch out with more flavor and variety than the light lagers that larger breweries grew popular for producing. Belgian-influenced amber ales, cask ales, wheat beers, multi-flavored stouts and a myriad of pale ales are the styles of beer that have helped carve out a considerable niche market for the craft brewer.

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To gain an understanding of how these various brews are made, it’s simple and legal in many regions to acquire the basic material for home-brewing. This will allow you to learn the different styles of beer, and experiment to create your own distinguishable brew. Instruction manuals accompanying the purchase of brewing equipment, information on the Internet and classes from brewing institutes can help you in this endeavor. Once you feel you’ve mastered your particular style of brewing, you can look into opening a brewpub or microbrewery to put your brews on the market.

A brewpub is a restaurant establishment that typically contains a brewery within it. Brewpubs often sell a large percentage of their beer on site. There are many elements that need to come together in order for you to become a craft brewer for a brewpub. You’ll need to analyze the market and choose an area where the demographic is likely to respond positively to your establishment. Learning how to acquire business loans, lease a building and deal with employee payroll are indispensable tools to successfully opening and running a brewpub.

If running a kitchen, brewery, bar and wait staff while entertaining the evening rush doesn’t sound like the craft brewing you had in mind, you might open a microbrewery. Microbreweries, also known as craft breweries, generally produce and distribute up to 15,000 barrels a year, most of which are sold off-site. You might install a bar to serve some patrons on-site and to host beer tastings, but by and large, microbreweries sell the majority of their beer to liquor stores and restaurants.

Many microbreweries can get started for a fraction of the cost is takes to start a brewpub. Typically, all you need to start a microbrewery is the equipment capable of producing enough beer to meet demand and the right licenses to legally distribute your product. This means you could technically and legally become a craft brewer from your very own basement. In fact, many microbreweries began in the basement of a home brewer. Successful craft brewers typically must also learn how to hire and manage a brewing staff as well as purchase and operate larger equipment capable of producing higher quantities of beer.

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Discuss this Article

Heavanet
Post 3

@talentryto- I have friends who opened their own brew pub in our town, and they also started their businesses many years ago by brewing beer as a hobby. When they decided that they wanted to turn their love of beer making into a businesses, they took to the road and began visiting small breweries and brew pubs all over the country. They realized that they best way to learn how to start a brew pub business is to learn from others who did the same.

My friends found that they were always welcomed when they visited these establishments, and that the owners were happy to give them ideas and suggestions. Their explorations of the brewing industry also gave them ideas about the best type of businesses model that would work in the area where they planned to open their business. Today, their brew pub is constantly growing, and they have quite a following of customers who enjoy drinking their home brews.

I think you should take some time and visit other businesses to find out the best way to turn your love of beer brewing into a business. It takes time, but according to my friends, it is a lot of fun and quite a learning experience.

Talentryto
Post 2

I have been making beer as a home project for the past several years. I enjoy it, and I think my beer has a pretty good flavor. Now I would like to take my project to the next level and possibly become a craft brewer. I have the necessary beer making equipment to brew beer, now I need some business ideas. Where do I start?

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