What It Takes To Open A Microbrewery

It has been the dream of many beer drinkers alike to one day open their own brewery. While you and your mates were a few pints deep, it probably seemed like a well thought – out plan was put together – sure to succeed and result in some of the finest brewed beer out there! In reality, there is a ton of work that goes into successfully starting and maintaining any small business, including a brewery. If you’re interested in how it all works, here is some information!

The Costs

What you will initially pay for equipment ultimately depends on how large your space is and whether you buy new or used. The costs are due to a very long list of essential equipment including boilers, kettles, kegs, storage tanks, fermentation tanks, piping and tubing, refrigeration equipment, bottling and canning lines, cleaning equipment and waste treating systems. Although you can buy used equipment for decent prices, another obstacle could arise further down the road if your brewery is unable to keep up with the demand should you be successful. Complex systems in breweries are costly and difficult to modify.

Location & Construction 

Even a “small” brewery takes up a relatively large amount of space. Monthly costs depends on a number of factors including the size of your building and where it is located. On top of that, you may need to renovate to accommodate for a brewery – high ceilings, the right flooring, and electrical and plumbing needs have to be addressed before you can determine if the space will work. The tricky part is in trying to determine exactly how much space will be needed, including extra room for potential growth, but not too much room to spend money on extra space that doesn’t support sales. 

Other Things To Consider

Depending on the laws in your province, there are necessary legal documents and permits. These documents can often take weeks or months to acquire, and of course add-on to the total costs of starting your brewery. Next, you’ll have to make sure you have the right type of insurance for your brewery and employees. There are several different types to consider including liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and life and health insurance to name a few. An insurance broker will be able to guide you during this process to ensure you are well covered!

Want to learn more about our Ottawa brewery? Stop by Ridge Rock in Carp to see what we’re all about – and don’t forget to try our craft beer!