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Archive for the ‘Microbrewery set up’ Category

The Great Beer Dream – Microbrewery

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Times are changing. Many people are becoming adventorous and doing things that they have wanted to do. In the last few months I have met a few well to do professionals, people who are just starting out and people on cross-roads of their respective careers. The thread which connected them all was:

1. They want to become an entrepreneur
2. They want to set up a microbrewery/brewpub

People are now more aware of craft beer, microbrewery and beerpub, mostly because of their extensive travel around the globe and the web. With the government relaxing its norms and policies, a few states in India have opened up licences to set up new breweries/ brewubs. And I am sure in times to come, practically every state in India would have its licences

Craft beer is a luxury when compared with regular beer but it is a luxury that people can afford. It is a small and niche industry but globally it has a loyal customer base. The fact that it is largely unexplored in the Indian market, makes it a good business opportunity.

Most often when a new brewery/ bewpub opens up, they strive to create their own edge by brewing that special recipe and building up their customer base. This also becomes the key differentiator and indicator of growth. In a way it is good, because everybody is alert and wants to be ahead of the competition. The game also become challenging because the quantities produced is miniscule compared to a large brewery. Also the ingedients used/ flavours produced are exotic. Besides the regular Ale, Lager we now have choices between Coffee, Chocolate , Champagne…you name it and the flavour is there.

Unlike the West, where there are a lot of home brewers, organised platforms and courses available before someone moves on to start their own brewpub, India is still a growing market. Some entrepreneurs who are new to the area seek guidance/ mentoring from consultants, trade suppliers, brewery manufacturers, brewmasters and industry experts. It is a good idea to have all the cost and time approximations before one starts, otherwise there may be disappointments later.

In my next post I will put up a sample business plan, which will help entrepreneurs do the numbers 🙂

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September 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm

How Big Should A Brewery Be?

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Continuing on my previous post about  competion analysis and knowing what kind of beer (Lager, Ale and/or own beer) will be served, it becomes important to answer – how big should the brewery be?

While setting up a microbrewery one should always allow room for future expansion. We know that the single most expensive part in the functioning of a brewpub will be the equipment itself and it will not be possible to keep changing the equiment frequently. Most brewpubs brew in seven or ten barrel batches, depending on the location, the size of the premises and what they are serving. Most brewpub start-up systems go with a seven barrel system. This will suffice for medium sized, retail only brewpubs. If it is an ambitious project, then one must consider upwards of ten barrel systems. Also while designing a brewpub, one must remember that the brewery system will occupy approx 1000 square feet (for a seven barrel brewery) plus another 1000-1500 square feet for operations. A larger brewery system will take up more space.

However much that we desire, it will be impossible to brew round-the-clock. As an entrepreneur one must keep in mind that there would be at least 15 days total production time for ales and about 21 days for  normal lagers. Add to this the number of different types of beers you wish to sell, you can then decide the volume you need to brew each week. Initially I would suggest few brews per week and gradually increasing it.

This way you will have an idea about the possible demand, capacity to brew and can then work out the brewlength depending upon the hours you wish. Ideally two to three brews per week is very much doable, keeping in mind that one would require time at the start & end of the week for activities like warm up, cleaning, maintainence and some time for the inevitable breakdowns. If you are doing less than two brews/week then you are surely oversized and if you are doing more than three brews/week then you are undersized, keeping in mind the expansion.

A good consultant should help you estimate the annual production, identify and install the right brewery equipment for your brewpub.

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August 11, 2011 at 8:55 pm

What Beer Are You Serving?

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The other day I was with a gentleman, who is in the process of setting up a microbrewery/ brewpub. While a lot of detailing was in place about the location, feel of the interiors, licencing, identifying prospect places to buy their equipment from, it seemed few measures had been taken to identify the brews that would eventually be served at the brewpub.

The kind of resources that we have today, makes it possible to have 16 billion different brews. I was reading that there are about 150 varieties of malt extracts, 15 specialty grains, 25 hops, and 32 yeast varieties which are available to the brewer today. Given this fact, it is important to consider what brew is being served to the customer.

A good way to launch a brewpub is to get the brewing licence for a good international brand and introduce the flavours to the local market, or brew your own. While a good consultant should help you achieve the former, a good brewmaster would be able to deliver a good brew based on resources available, taste and likeability factor by the customers.

While personal choice is important when considering what to serve like a stout, a lager, an ale or even flavored beer like strawberry, cranberry and so on, one must also think on the following while answering what to brew?

Competition: You may be the first to open a brewpub in a city, or setting up in a place, where a brewpub already exists. So what would differentiate you? It will be wise to peep into the neighborhood taverns, pubs, restrobars, brewpubs and profile the place vis-a-vis menu, seating, entertainment options, theme etc. Doing this successfully will give you a heads-up in doing your own brewpub and also understanding what kind of brew your customers would like and what kind of food can be paired along with it.

Clientele: Once you have got a hang of what your competition offers or doesnot offer, profiling customers is the next thing to realise your brew potential. Are you targetting the absolute beer enthusiasts, the young college going crowd, working professionals, creative people or a mix of all. Once you have identified the kind of clientle which will be walking into your brewpub it would be easier for you to identify the right brew to be served. You can perhaps engage your prospect clientele with a survey about their liking or if there is a possibility to do small tasting sessions with select group of people. This will give you deep insights about their preferences and willingness to experiment. I had done an earlier post on the types of Beer available. You may find it useful here.

Having answered “What Beer are you Serving?” it will also lead you to asking, “How big should your Brewery be? What is the capacity of equipment’s that one should order etc.  Since it will be a bit of lengthy post,  I will take it up next 🙂

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August 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm

List of equipments required during microbrewery set up

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In the last post we discussed about the various questions to be answered when it comes to equipment selection in microbrewery. We discussed whether we should use new or old equipment. If we are using new equipment what all things to consider before placing order for equipments. In this post we shall discuss about the various kind of equipement
required in microbrewery.

Here we will discuss the main equipment required for a 1000l/batch Microbrewery. This is not a complete list but it covers the major equipment requirement. I have categories the equipment based on their functioning. These caterogies are – Mash System, Fermentation system, Cooling system, Filter system, Controlling system and Cleaning system.

The equipments required under these categories are mentioned below:

Mash System

  • Mash tank
  • Lauter tun
  • Electric stream generator
  • microbrewery equipment list

  • Malt mill machine
  • Wort pump
  • Plat heat exchanger
Fermentation system
  • Fermentation tank
  • Yeast adding equipment
  • Cooling pump
Cooling system
  • Ice liquid tank
  • Refrigeration machine
Filter system
  • Filter diamite tank
  • Pump
Controlling system
  • Meter controlling board
  • Regerator board
  • PLC controll board
   Cleaning system
  • Sterilize tank
  • Alkali liquor tank
  • Washing pump
Feel free to get in touch with me in case you require information related to equipment, costing or any other information about microbrewery set up.

New or used equipment’s – best approach when purchasing microbrewery equipments

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In India, the concept of microbrewery is in its early  stages. That is why there are not much used equipments available at present. So, whenever we talk about used equipments we look at the equipment which are originally designed for other industries. It could be dairies, soft drink plants, etc., where only some of the processing equipments can be used. The other option is to import the used equipment from markets like China or East Europe.

Now let’s have a look at the new equipments. There are few provider/suppliers are available in India or you can look at some other countries also for suppliers. Before we invite the proposal from suppliers, we should be very clear and specific about our requirements with detailed specifications. The more we nail down the details, the less is the margin of error and fewer changes during the course of construction which will result in less extra charges.

microbrewery equipments

Following are the set of points which should be considered while planning for microbrewery equipments:

  • How many different Beers do you plan on brewing
  • How many brews would you be comfortable brewing per week (One brew generally takes upto 8 hours)
  • What will be the yearly capacity of microbrewery – It could be 200 Litres to 1000 Litres Beer per day.
  • Space required for brewing equipments.
  • What would be the outer finish of equipments – Stainless steel (It would be the cheapest and easiest to maintain), Copper expensive and hardest to maintain, but best looking) or Stainless steel with copper bands.
  • Where and how to consider integrating some used equipment.
  • Costing – equipments and its installation.
  • Packaging – Bottles/cans and their sizes.

Please feel free to write me if you require any other  information related to microbrewery equipments.

The Microbrewers’ Handbook

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The Microbrewers’ Handbook by Ted Bruning

This book is an excellent resource for people who want to start their own brewery. The book gives an excellent checklist that a brewer should know. The author brings out through the pages, his depth of knowledge about the subject. Besides being rich with case studies, the book also gives you the picture of running a brewery in black and white. No rosy pictures.

I would suggest you pick up this book, if you have the remotest fascination/inclination to know about the brewing business and start your own, someday 🙂

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June 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Setting up a microbrewery-Step-9-Operational management

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In general terms Operational Management is the business function that is responsible for managing and coordinating the resources needed to produce a company’s products and services. Simply put Operational Management transforms inputs to outputs.

In our case inputs are resources such as raw material (barley, hops, yeast), microbrewery plan (equipments), human resource (brew master, plant operator etc.) and output would be delicious Beer.

So, now let us look at some of the points which we need to consider in operational management of during microbrewery set up:

  • Manpower like operator, staff, brew master – hiring and training
  • Performance and acceptance testing
  • Trial brew with very less volume
  • Product testing, formulating
  • Performance evaluation of the brew process and report
  • Trouble shooting, correction, modification
  • Monitoring the operation of plant, process and production
  • Plant maintenance
  • Inventory and production control
  • Operation accounting
  • Final acceptance

So, we are through all the functions/steps required to start up a micrbrewery. I know there could be many more questions that will require answers when building a microbrewery. However I am hopeful that you will find the answers for most of the key questions.

In case you do not find your answers here yet or you wish to discuss some part of the microbrewey set up/ promotions etc. then please feel free to contact us through the contact form on the right hand side of this page.

Hope to hear from you soon!

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June 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm