The Session #75

For this month’s Session we are asked to give advice to someone opening a brewery.

When I think about someone another brewery I have two words, good luck. I mean it, it’s not that the industry isn’t doing well, of course it is. But with all the new brewers coming online the shelf space may get scarce soon, especially for the unknown quantity.

In terms of advice for these folks I’ll stick to the basics.

It’s a good idea to advance promotion, but wait until you have a site established and working on construction. Promoting too early leaves people questioning if you will ever going to open. I understand it’s a long, slow process, but in my experience the beergeeks and public are far less patient.

Then there is the classic advice “Gather more money than you think you will need”. But even more importantly once you have that money make sure you focus on the right things. I heard a new brewer tell me that they weren’t going to bother getting a Zahm because they would check carbonation by taste. Have the right equipment to ensure your quality. People will only give your beer one chance if you are lucky in this busy market and the only way to ensure you put your best foot forward is to have the facts about the quality of your beer.

Last be sure to establish good safety practices. To me this is the first and most important thing for a brewery to do. Everyone needs to go home and enjoy a good pint at the end of the day. So many people are getting into this field who haven’t worked in a brewery before, they need to be mindful of the pressures, hot liquids, and harsh chemicals we deal with on a daily basis. This is a simple job, but it remains a dangerous one, so be careful.

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