Chapter 11Sizing up the Brewery

Reed Odeneal1

DON'T FALL INTO the trap of undersizing your success.

We've all heard the stories about the enthusiastic startups who begin their journey on a nanosystem and struggled to keep their heads above water, or the halfhearted businesses who piece together laborious frankenbrew setups in order to save on startup capital just to get things off the ground. While some have found success, nearly all of them will be unanimous in their regret for not planning their systems to be larger and designed to grow with their business.

It's happened to some of the best, too.

“People always ask me (about sizing) because I was a nano brewery,” said Burial Beer Co. Co‐Founder Doug Reiser. “I always say that it was a terrible decision. I don't think it's smart business for anybody. I'm not saying you need to start at 10,000 barrels, but you need to start with a plan to get the 10,000 barrels in your first two years if that's your number. Whatever your number is. If your number's 50,000, you should start at 5,000, and scale up pretty quick, building your marketplace. I don't think you should be there, day one. I think it's kind of a two‐step process.”

Annual Production Forecasting

Having an understanding of your estimated annual production is one of the principal questions you should be able to answer to help ensure long‐term success for your business. This should have already happened from a financial standpoint as you do your budget and projections for ...

Get The Microbrewery Handbook now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.