The Beer Chronicles

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Posts Tagged ‘microbrewery

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

A new revolution – Beer straight from the farm

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barley farmWhen it comes to beer brewing, it requires many ingredients like barley, hops, yeast etc. Depending on the location brewers import theses ingredient from different parts of the world. In microbrewery also, the amount of ingredients changes but the location of import did not.

But now the story is changing in two ways. People who grow barley and hops are coming into brewing and people who are in brewing are growing their own barley and hops.

Let me share a very interesting story of a farmer who turns to a brewer to sell his Beer direct into the market. He, Mark VanGlad, used barley and hops which are grown in his own farm, Stamford, New York.

After a legislation passed in 2009,that allows smallscale breweries (microbrewery) in New York to sell at directly into the markets. Today, on 6th may, Mr. VanGlad’s Tundra Brewery has become the first to sell beer direct in the market. The Beer has an alcohol content of 4 to 5 percent. The pale ale is the first

of three beers that he plans to sell at the market. The next will be a red ale made with local honey, followed by a gluten-free sorghum beer.

To make beer from barley, it must first be malted — soaked in water to germinate, dried with hot air, cleaned and then roasted to the desired darkness. At first, Mr. VanGlad couldn’t find a malt house willing to process a small batch of barley. Then he found the ‘nano-malt house’, Valley Malt to malt his barley.

Two years after his graduation in 2008 Mr. VanGlad got his microbrewery licenses for Tundra Brewery. He grew five to six acres of barley last year on his family’s farm, and planted another similar batch of barley. He has also grown two small plots of hops and he plans to plant another acre this year.

Most of the microbreweries in New York import the barley and hops from Europe or elsewhere in America. Local grain production has increased somewhat in recent years, but it is still far from fulfilling the requirements. Mr. VanGlad’s success using local grains could go a long way to showing others what’s
possible.

In India also concept of microbrewery is generating awareness. People are coming to set up their own brewery as Brewpubs or big farmers are also getting aware set up their own microbrewery. Still a lot of distance is to be covered. But it will happens soon and for sure!

This year Mr. VanGlad has produced three 600 liters batches of pale ale. He built his brewery from stainless still milk tanks that he bought second hand.
Today, 6th May 2011, is his first day to see his Beer to strangers into the direct market.

All the best to Mr. VanGlad!

You can read the complete story here.

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May 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Setting up a Microbrewery

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setting up a microbreweryContinuing my previous post about Microbrewery and opportunities in India, this post is about how to establish a Microbrewery.

The idea of starting your own microbrewery is a potent combination of business and pleasure. Starting a Microbrewery and selling Beer is becoming a hot and trendy business in India. Microbrewery start ups have a substantially better than average success rate as compared to other businesses.

Besides the availability of funds, there are certain factors which need to be considered before setting up a microbrewery. They are:

Selection of brew: What kind of Beer you want to brew and what variety/quality will make you to stand above the competition from commercial Beer or other microbreweries. This can also be answered with what kind of Barley, Water, Hops, Yeasts (any special strain) etc. you want to use to get that special Beer you wish to brew.

Location of the Microbrewery: As of now the concept of Microbrewery in India, is restricted to bigger cities like Gurgaon, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi etc. These cities follow global trends and it is more likely that people here have an inclination to try more variety/ flavored Beer over the commercially available ones.

Requirement of space: This usually depends on the capacity you want to produce, types of equipments, sitting capacity (in case of Brewpub) etc. Because of its size, a reasonable Microbrewery can be started in a single room or the basement/ terrace of your apartments (Depending on availability of power, water and appropriate licences)

Licensing: The license for operating a microbrewery is issued by the respected state excise department. If you wish to start a pub also along with microbrewery then you need to apply for a separate license.

Equipments: Based on the Beer type and the capacity, the brewing equipments are selected. The basic equipments are Mash tun, Hot liquor tank, kettle, wort aeration, apparatus, plate heat exchanger, vessels etc.

Most of it is usually available for online buy, but it is preferable to interact with someone knowledgeable from the industry. Usually hiring a Microbrewery consultant eases of a lot of your pressures. They can help you with all the requirements, processes, formalities, setting up, procuring and some amount of marketing too.

In the next post I will talk about the costing that go in setting up a Microbrewery

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April 29, 2011 at 9:46 pm