A small, one-barrel system can cost as little as £5,000, while a larger three-barrel system can run upwards of £50,000. Microbreweries have become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people are looking for local, artisanal beer.
But how much does it cost to start a microbrewery? The answer, of course, depends on a number of factors, including the size of the operation and the quality of the equipment.
In addition, many microbreweries also invest in kegging and bottling equipment, which can add several thousand dollars to the total cost. However, there are also a number of ways to cut costs, such as purchasing used equipment or sourcing ingredients from local farmers. As a result, the cost of starting a microbrewery is really up to the individual brewer.
We are going to cover the basics of microbrewery setup costs. In this article we will be focusing on the cost of the equipment needed to run a functional and potentially successful microbrewery business venture.
How much it costs to start a microbrewery depends on a number of factors, such as how much you intend to produce, your location, and the equipment you purchase.
How much does it cost to start your own microbrewery?
On average, most small breweries will have initial investments ranging from £50K to £500K. When considering starting your own microbrewery, one of the first things you need to think about is the cost.
Depending on a variety of factors, including the size and location of your brewery, the equipment you will need, and labor costs, the startup costs for a microbrewery can vary considerably.
It is possible to start a brewing business for less; for example, buying secondhand equipment or outsourcing certain functions such as packaging can help to bring down costs. Ultimately, what matters most is that you are passionate about beer and have a solid business plan in place before you take any major steps towards opening your brewery. With careful planning and foresight, starting your own microbrewery can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor!
A microbrewery’s starting costs are among the biggest after the building. It isn’t necessary to purchase high-quality equipment from the start, and there is plenty of used but perfectly adequate equipment available online.
Here is everything you need to get started. It is not a complete list, but it will get you started off.
- Mash System – Mash tank, lauter tun, electric stream generator, 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 diameter tank, pump
- Controlling system – Meter controlling board, refrigerator board, PLC control board
- Cleaning system – sterilisation equipment, alkali liquor tank, washing pump
If you’re a beer aficionado, you’ll probably know that making beer is made of just four ingredients: water, hops, malted barley, and yeast. The flavour and quality of your beer will be affected by a range of different combinations of these four ingredients.
- Water – beer is primarily composed of water. If you’re looking to save money, tap water will work just fine for home brewing. Purified or spring water is often recommended by brewers because it is low in sulphur, which may affect the taste of your beer.
- Hops – the little flower that makes beer bitter. Hops come in a variety of types that affect the taste and body of your product. Researching different varieties and their properties is a good idea.
- Yeast – yeast is responsible for converting the sugars in barley into alcohol, and wort into beer. Research the effect of the different varieties on the final product. There are many varieties, so do some research.
- Malted Barley – barley is the most common grain used in brewing, although wheat and rye can also be used. Your beer can have different flavours, colours, and bodies depending on how the barley is roasted.
In most cases, you should be able to purchase these four ingredients online or in brick-and-mortar stores, and there should be someone available to offer advice and guidance if necessary.
You need to secure an adequate space and install a brewery if you’re set on moving into premises. It is possible to install a brewery in the UK for between £10k and £80k depending on your requirements for size. Research is necessary due to the variety of options and specialist equipment available.
One £10,000 kit will produce 400 litres of beer per cycle, while a 12-barrel brewery can produce up to 2,000 litres.
A brewery cannot be housed in just any building, and it needs running water, electricity, and drains at a minimum. Currently, all sorts of old buildings are being converted, from schools to stables and even dairy farms. The floors will need to be large, and maybe you should find a place that is a bit bigger than you need, so that you can expand as needed. In the interests of hygiene and safety, the right flooring is a necessity.
You can prevent poisoning and accidents in the event of a spill by cleaning walls and floors that are seamless, impact resistant, impervious and anti-slip. In the UK, there are a number of companies that install polyurethane resin flooring, tailored specifically for breweries.
It is possible to calculate exactly how much space you’ll need if you know the amount of beer you intend to produce. Window and door positions, roof height, and drainage are among the many aspects to consider, but for the equipment alone, a small 2.5-barrel brewery requires 250-500 square feet and 240 volts. A medium sized brewery of 8 barrels would require 800-11000 square feet and 415V, while a large brewery of 15 barrels would require 1400-1600 square feet and 415V.
Maintaining your equipment properly is vital. Most of the equipment is made of stainless steel, and with proper maintenance and care, it can last for up to 30 years.
As soon as you have everything set up and ready to brew, the cost of production depends on how often and how big your batches are. The cost of production will vary depending on demand.
It is estimated that you can produce a beer with a 4.0% ABV for 33p a pint after tax – the government takes a significant percentage of every beer you sell, so the beer tax will account for about 60% of your costs.