So, a bit of a blow this week, with the major profit center of the brewery usurped by a MUCH larger facility. Even if I could have planned and funded this brewery by the end of this year I still would have had much of my contracts disappear as soon as this large contract facility opened. So…..where does that leave me? Renewed focus.
Funding the facility early through contract only business would have been great, but it was off target from what I really wanted to do with this brewery. The real concept here is brewing success for local brewers. So how? I think the only solution is to have a public taproom. I had planned for a taproom originally, but only have it open for tours or special events. Without the contract income coming in, I need another revenue stream. I think public taproom is the only way. This adds an additional advantage, brewers immediately have their beer available to the public. I would also like to go a step further. Rather than just one commercial sized facility, I think this brewery should have non-professional space. A true studio for practicing and refining before you go public.
Apparently, U-Brew spaces require only slightly more insurance than any commercial property. Now imagine a home brewer, working out of a space in the studio, perfecting recipes with the help of professional staff. Once a small batch is ready, it goes on tap under the studio’s license (Craft Beer Studio presents: XXX). If the beer is successful, the brewer makes more. If it becomes successful enough, he moves to the full scale brewery.
Home brewers could simply work out of the studio. Rent the room for 1/2 a day to make a beer on near professional gear, with near professional process. They could simply use it as their home brewery. However, those looking to take a shot at the commercial market, would have the ability to put a beer on tap and see what happens.
I think the combination of studio space for non-pro brewers, connected with a commercial facility, and a true tap room is the future of this plan. Time to make a few more calls. Stay tuned.