Just like many home brewers, we have aspirations to one day turn our much loved hobby into a viable business. To work towards that we gave ourselves some milestone goals. The first was solidifying at least two solid recipes that can be offered year round. The second was reading some key books and doing research on the topic of starting a brewery. The third was build a business plan. Fourth? Finding money.
Last night we met up for a couple of pints and dinner at our favorite local watering hole the Billy Miner Pub (try their pizza and thank us later) to discuss where we were at and what the next steps were. It turns out we’re a bit a head of schedule in some areas. Namely our selection of market ready (or nearly ready) recipes. Narrowing down which ones to select for our year round offering was quite the lengthy and in depth conversation. To be honest there were no right or wrong answers when it came to the styles, but finding the perfect balance or variety and accessibility can be tough.
Ideally we would want to launch with three beers that are offered year round. The first would be a more accessible beer for the uninitiated. The second would be something a bit hoppier and complex for the beer connoisseurs. Finally, the third would be a darker Stout or Porter for those who enjoy “the black stuff”. We won’t bore you with all the back and forth discussions we had, but ultimately it was the ingredients that finally determined our starting line up. It was our first real “business decision” that we’ve made that actually effects our products and it was an important moment since it’s an approach that will serve us well down the road.
Choosing beers that shared many of the same ingredients would allow us to purchase them in larger quantities, lowering costs and increasing profits. This is particularly important with yeast since it’s far and away the most costly ingredients in your beer. Not the ideal way to decide on beers, but this isn’t home brewing anymore where an extra $10 is okay. It’s pretty much all about finding ways to cut costs from here on in.
So what’s the starting line up? It looks like the Common, and Porter are going to make it into the mix for sure, but we’re still experimenting on the hoppy beer. Perhaps a west coast style ESB? We’ll keep you posted, but there’s a good chance that the next hoppy beer you see from us that’s around 5-6% alcohol is most likely going to fill that gap in our line up. Stay tuned!