We all enjoy craft beer and many of us homebrew but how many of us have really thought about starting their own brewery? OK a lot of us but what about those that are looking to go beyond just the thought and actually looking to make it happen? Figuring out where to start is always challenging. Thats why Dan Woodske of Beaver Brewing Company has written A Brewer’s Guide To Opening A Nano Brewery. This book covers the basics of opening your own nano brewery and should help point you in a good starting direction to get your brewery dreams off the ground and started on your way to becoming the next Sierra Nevada or Sam Adams (you gotta dream big right?).
To start, this book is a barebones bare-minimum manual for what it might take to start your own brewery. It’s a fairly short read at just 102 pages and while it does cover many of the important topics, it does not cover any of them in enough depth that one could take just the information presented and open their own successful operation. Each section is fairly small, making up a couple pages at the most. Someone interested in starting their own brewery will want to research much more on each of the topics covered as there is a lot more to things than what is covered in the few pages dedicated to each topic here.
This book covers the topics of starting a nano brewery from the business side. It does not talk at all about how to brew. Right away the author makes it known that this isn’t a book on brewing and if that’s what you’re looking for, pickup another book first. One should know how to brew before starting a brewery (although as he also mentions, he has met a number of people looking to open their own brewery that have zero experience brewing).
The section on finance is really lacking. It basically says sell your stuff and take out a 2nd mortgage on your house in addition to hitting up family for money but thats the only way to get money. Getting a bank loan isn’t an option in the author’s mind. While that may be true for some, if you’ve raised enough money to fund a good part of things, a bank will give you a loan to fund anything as long as the terms are safe in their favor. A number of people I know have recently gotten bank loans for their microbrewer startups so it is doable. There are also plenty of spelling and punctuation errors that make things hard to read and understand at times. A simple proof reading would have helped greatly. Some items are presented as fact with the author telling the reader that they must do this or must not do that. In some cases they may have been something he chose not to do with his own brewery but work very well for other brewers. Don’t take everything written as gospel as this is just one nano brewers experiences and opinions.
Before brewing you’ll want to read much more than just this short book. Books like Beer School by Brooklyn Brewery founders Steve Hindy and Tom Potter offer a much more detailed view of many of the things involved with starting your own brewery. Even with this book and that, you’ll need much more information from sources like brewery owners, business owners, ProBrewer.com and many others to get a much better picture of what will be required to succeed in opening your own spot.
Overall this book gives a good overview of what it might take to get your brewery dreams off the ground. It’s not a one stop guide to starting your own operation but it does offer plenty of good advise and is a good place to start if you’re thinking about going into the beer business on your own. Grab your copy of A Brewer’s Guide to Opening a Nano Brewery here on Amazon. Kindle users can also download a free copy of the book here.