How to start a brewery?

/Update Jau 08, 2023 / By YoLong Brewtech

Start a brewery is a big dream for many people. In order to realize this dream, you need to start with a complete brewery plan. we’ve compiled a list of steps and tips to help guide you through the process and successfully open your own business.

Start Today

Estimating the cost of brewery equipment

1. Write a Brewery Business Plan

A good business plan is one of the most important steps for starting any business. While it can change, or even be updated as your business progresses, a business plan provides a framework that lets you plan, evaluate, and grow your company. You’ll receive feedback on your ideas and goals from investors, partners, or staff members to help you make improvements before launching. In addition to providing valuable information about your concept, competitor analysis, market research and financial projections, a good business plan also includes a detailed description of how your company will operate day-to-day.

2. Choose a Brewery Concept

Your concept is the foundation of your brewery. It’s what makes you stand out from the competition, and it forms the core of how you operate on a daily basis. Identifying your concept will determine how you promote your brand and what type of employees you hire in the future. The concept of a brewery will also impact its brand identity, so choosing this wisely is crucial to your business’ future success.

Naming Your Brewery

The name of your brewery is an important decision. It should be something that is memorable and also conveys what your brand is about. It’s something that people will associate with your company for years to come, so don’t rush this stage of the creative process. keep in mind that a good name will share the following traits:

  • Original
  • Memorable
  • Reflective
  • Broad

Identify Your Brand

In today’s competitive beer market, it’s more important than ever to establish a unique and recognizable brand that speaks to your brewery. How you present yourself to the world—whether through your logo and marketing materials or the employees you choose to represent your company—will make a powerful impression on current and potential customers.

beer machine for sale

Choose a Type of Brewery

Brewery size varies greatly, Whether you’re just starting out with a microbrewery or have been brewing for years, there’s no denying that in the craft beer industry, variety is the spice of life. Each brewery type presents unique advantages and challenges and can be effective under the right conditions.

  1. Nano Brewery:As its name suggests, a nano brewery is the smallest type of brewery. There isn’t a set amount of beer that a nano brewery is allowed to produce until they officially scale up to micro-sized.
  2. Microbrewery:A microbrewery is defined as a brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels of beer annually. These types of breweries are typically independently owned, and sell the majority of their products onsite rather than through beer distributors.
  3. Brewpub:A brewpub is a hybrid between a restaurant and a brewery. Most of their beer is brewed for the purpose of being sold to customers at their bar.
  4. Taproom Brewery:Taproom breweries are professional breweries which sell beer onsite and through distributors, yet don’t offer restaurant services to guests. Often times, the taproom will be attached to the brewery itself.
  5. Regional Brewery:A regional brewery is defined as a brewery that produces between 15,000 and 6,00,000 barrels of beer per year. Breweries which exceed this level of output are recognized worldwide.
  6. Contract Brewing Company: A contract brewing company hires other breweries to produce their beer. The hiring company retains the responsibility of marketing and distributing the beer while the company they’ve hired is responsible for production and packaging.



3. Determine the Cost of Starting a Brewery

Opening a brewery can be a costly endeavor and there are many factors that influence the cost of operating a business. Below, we’ve listed the estimated costs of each particular aspect of opening your own brewery, from brewing equipment to utilities.

  • Brewery Equipment Cost:The amount you pay for brewing equipment ultimately depends on the size of your brewery and whether you buy it new or used. You can purchase brewing equipment with the smallest capacity for $100,000 or less if you buy it used, or pay up to $1 million or more for a brand-new, 30-barrel system.
  • Furniture Cost:Depending on the style and level of quality you’re looking for in your brewery, the price of. restaurant furniture in your restaurant can range from as low as $4,000 to as high as $15,000.
  • Rent or Mortgage Payments:When you decide on retail space to operate your brewery out of, take into account how much space you’ll need. It’s essential to have enough space for your utilities and brewing equipment. Additionally, if you plan on operating a taproom, make sure there is enough space for guests to comfortably dine. Regardless, the cost of retail rent is determined by square foot and can range from anywhere from $10/square foot to as high as $30/square foot.

What Is the Average Cost of Starting a Brewery?

The cost of opening a brewery can range from as low as $250,000 to upwards of $2 million. Opening a brewery is a big undertaking, and it comes with a big price tag. However, the cost of opening your own craft brewery will vary depending on your budget and your needs. The average cost of opening a brewery is between $500,000 and $1.5 million. The best way to determine the right budget for you is to consider how large you’d like your facility to be, how many employees you plan to hire, which equipment you need and what kind of legal structure makes sense for your business model.

4. Apply for Permits and Licenses

Certain businesses that produce or sell alcohol require a liquor license, such as breweries, wineries and distilleries. Depending on your production and serving needs, you have the option of applying for a limited license or a full license.

Cost of Liquor Licenses

The cost and availability of a liquor license can vary depending on what state you live in. In some instances, it can cost as low as $3,000. However, in others it can cost upwards of $400,000. Additionally, many states require an application fee and fees to apply for a transfer or pay higher costs to acquire one

Cost of Restaurant Licenses

Food service licenses are required for businesses that provide food to customers. They operate in much the same way as liquor permits, certifying that your business meets all regulations and standards and has been deemed fit to serve food. The cost can vary depending on a number of factors, but it’s safe to assume you will pay somewhere between $100 and $1,000.


If you are not a professional brewer and are considering making the transition from home brewing to nano brewery, it is a good idea to find a professional brewery consultant to help you through the first 30-90 days.

The Brewery Consultant will:

  • 1:Help expand your recipes.
    2:Learn how the Nano brewing system works
    3:Convince potential clients that you are on the right track.
    4:Be your most reliable “brewery problem solver” partner
    5:Make your commercial brewery a reality in the near future

if you want to start your own brewing business. My company YoLong has been working on microbrewery & beverage projects since 2004, we can give you any assistance from 0 to turnkey. Check out the professional brewing consulting services we offer.

YoLong Brewing Consulting Services

5. Choose a Brewery Location

Choosing a location for your brewery represents a significant investment. Therefore, you must consider a variety of factors to make the best decision for you and your brewery’s future. Consider the following details as you search for a location to start your brewery:

  • Zoning:The location of your brewery depends on local zoning regulations. In most cases, breweries can only be located in zones designated for industry. However, these regulations vary by region, so be sure to check with your local government before making a decision.
  • Brewery Requirements:You won’t be able to run a successful brewery if you choose a building that doesn’t fit your needs. For example, if you plan on producing a large amount of beer, be sure to find a building where you’ll be able to efficiently carry out production.
  • Building Space:Be sure to find a building that has enough space for you and your staff to comfortably work. Key factors to consider include storage space, space for equipment and machines, and possible dining areas for guests. Additionally, find a building that has adequate parking spots for your employees, guests, and yourself.
  • Safety Precautions:As with any business, the most important thing to consider is safety. Make sure the building you choose will pass safety inspections and allow you to safely carry out day-to-day operations.

6. Buy Brewery Equipment

Starting a brewery requires a lot of equipment and supplies. There are a few that you’ll need before you can get going: brew kettles, fermenters, kegs, food-grade plastic buckets and more. It’s helpful to know what kind of brewing equipment is out there so you can focus your research around the best products for your business.

  • Beer Brewing Equipment:You can’t start brewing beer if you don’t have the right equipment. Be sure to invest in fermenters, boiling equipment, and brew kettles to make sure you’re ready to start making your own brews!
  • Beer Bottling and Packaging Supplies:Bottling and packaging supplies can help make sure that every customer is satisfied with their order. Commonly used bottling and packaging supplies can range from equipment such as growler fillers to simple packaging products such as labels and beverage shippers.
  • Keg Tapping, Dispensing, and Serving Equipment:If you plan on serving beer on-site, make sure you invest in your own keg tapping, dispensing, and serving equipment. This can include beer dispensers, tap towers, nitro infuser boxes, and pump keg taps.
  • Brewery cooling system:Cooling system is a very important piece of brewing equipment for your brewery. They are responsible for keeping your beverages cool and fresh, which is essential to the success of your beer company.
  • Keg Storage:When you’re running a brewery that produces craft beers, you need to invest in the right equipment to keep your product fresh and tasty. Whether you’re buying kegs or storing them, there are plenty of beer storage products to help you stay organized. Consider investing in keg racks to maximize your storage capacity, hand trucks to safely transport kegs throughout the facility and drum handling equipment for safe and efficient transport of empty kegs.
  • Beer Making Accessories:Make your brewing experience easier and more enjoyable with beer making accessories. Consider buying a test strip, meter and stock pot to upgrade your  brewing experience.
  • Beer Glasses:Keep your brewery stocked with a variety of beer glasses to accommodate any new brews you might plan on introducing. Examples of the different types of beer glasses include Belgian beer glasses, pilsner beer glasses, and IPA beer glasses.

Beer Ingredients and Flavorings: Stock your kitchen with a variety of beer ingredients and flavorings to make sure you have everything you need to customize your brews. This includes honey, cocktail bitters, wood chips and chunks, liquid malt extract, and a variety of other products.

7. Advertise Your Brewery

Because brewery owners place such a large investment in their businesses, it’s essential to start advertising your new brewery from the very beginning. The cost of marketing can vary depending on which forms you use, but in general, the average small business spends 1-2% of their annual revenue on advertising.

Advertise your opening event and special promotions with postcards, brochures and other media. When entering into a beer festival, we can help you choose an attractive location and coordinate with distributors to ensure that your brews are delivered on time and ready for the event!

Start a brewery is a rewarding, challenging, and exciting experience. We discuss the main issues in the brewery opening process to help you successfully open your brewery, If you’re ready to get started, contact us today.

Start Today

Estimating the cost of brewery equipment

Interested in learning more about Brewing Systems including additional details and pricing information? Please use the form below to contact us!