Craft beer in the United States is one of the most popular businesses. Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a successful pub or bar without its own brewery. According to statistics, private small and large breweries account for about 18% of all beer produced in the United States. About 9,000 breweries operate in the country in 2019.
Interested in the ways of organizing marketing for the brewery? Find out more in our business plan for a brewery in Pennsylvania.
Things to remember when opening a brewery in the USA
Minimal area of the craft brewery should be 250 sq.m, which is enough to install the equipment with the capacity of 500 liters per day. It’s very important for the production facilities to be located not far from the points of sale. Otherwise, transportation costs and the risk of delivering a spoiled beverage are too high since the shelf life of craft beer does not exceed one week.
Types of US breweries
Type 1: Beer production only
This means brewing beer in a separate room and supplying it to bars and restaurants. However, sales organization is a bottleneck of such approach. It is not easy to sell your product to the right venue. Beer consumption is not very substantial in ordinary restaurants, while beer venues prefer to sell beverages of the already recognizable brands. You need to have a lot of patience, convincing restaurant managers that your product is worth buying. It is also difficult to sell beer to pubs and restaurants because the non-factory beverage has to compete with well-known local and foreign brands, as well as hard drinks.
Type 2: Producing and selling beer in your own bar
The second possible way of managing the craft brewery is the organization of beverage’s production directly at the place of its sale. In this case, the process of obtaining permits and approvals is simpler.
Type 3: Brewery in the mall
Finally, it is possible to locate a mini-brewery in the mall, selling craft beer directly in the bar and the bottled beer in the supermarket.
Challenges of Running a Brewery
Foreign raw materials cost a lot, for example, granulated hops costs $250 per kg, while the price of malt starts from $1000 per 1 ton. Typically, companies analyze the quality of water in a place where the brewery will be located. According to these results, a decision on the necessity of the appropriate cleaning equipment is taken. To manufacture 500 liters of beer, it’s necessary to spend 100 kg of malt, 1 kg of hops, 5 thousand liters of water and 6 liters of yeast.
Peculiarities of Marketing
Taste of the craft beer, as well as pub interior usually contribute greatly to the attraction of clients’ attention to the brewery. Frequently, mini-breweries, which are located in restaurants or shopping malls, cover their digesters with copper and place them behind a glass grate directly in front of visitors. In addition, restaurateurs sometimes intentionally design rooms so that the atmosphere resembles industrial production.
Mini-brewers that do not have the opportunity to sell beer in their own restaurant can still find certain ways to attract attention to their product. Even despite the creative environment of your pub, it always makes sense to stimulate your clients with promotions like “A free glass of beer”. Also, a brewery cannot operate well without a proper advertising campaign. Apart from all aforementioned, in order to become a really good brewer, you need to love truly the process of making a drink, which is more than 4 thousand years old.