If you brew your own beer you’ve probably given at least some thought to opening your own brewery. The craft beer industry is chock-full of former homebrewers so it’s obvious you’re not alone. But is starting your own brewery really for you?
If it isn’t there are still ways to become a commercial brewer. In my hometown of Rochester, NY there are a number of breweries that partially or totally rely on contract brewing for their products. If they have brewing facilities they often use them for recipe development or for small runs. The breweries are still responsible for creating the recipes, negotiating the various federal, state and local regulations as well as marketing and distribution. It’s generally less capital-intensive in the beginning which can often mean they’re able to get from debt to breakeven in less time than if they had to invest in the equipment and building. Not everyone has access to the contract brewing resources that we have but if you do, it’s certainly an attractive option.