So, you wanna open a brewery?
First you’ll need a lot—and we mean a lot—of money. Do your research and find out however much money you think you’ll need, and then double it. Maybe triple it. We repeat: you’re going to need a lot of money.
That’s the first thing any new brewer will tell you if you say you say you’re thinking about opening a brewery. The second is that you’re going to have to work harder than you ever have before in your life. Sixteen-hour days, six or seven days a week of brewing, bottling, and delivering beer, hunting down new accounts, and dealing with every possible mechanical, political, and financial problem thrown at you.
Oh, and don’t expect to earn a salary for a year or two. Any profit you make will be going straight back into the brewery so you can brew more beer, make more money, and pay back all those people who loaned you money so you could open the brewery.
For the last year and a half in our Honest Pint column, we’ve written about the people who were crazy and passionate and driven enough to do all that—to open a brewery or a beer or cider company to make a product that they love and believe in.
And it’s to them that I dedicate this, our first craft beer issue—all about the explosive growth of the craft beer industry across the state and a behind-the-bar look at what it’s actually like to run a start-up brewery.
So grab a beer—Massachusetts-made is preferable—read up, and see if you have what it takes.
photos by Scott Murry and Heather Vandenengel
FEATURE: BLOOD, SWEAT, AND BEERS
MA brewers on labor, love, and beer.