Once you’ve perfected a number of beer styles as a home brewer, you might just think, “I need to share this with the world!” After all, you have a dank, juicy IPA, a bold, rich stout, a refreshing pilsner, or a wickedly tasty sour beer that your friends and family absolutely love. How dare you keep it to yourself?
We’re all for embarking on new adventures, but maybe don’t quit your day job just yet. You’ll need a little help figuring out how to start a brewery of your own. Especially in this era of craft brewing.
The beer world is saturated with small breweries. At last count, there were about 7,500 breweries in the U.S. (with more opening every day). To put that into perspective, there were less than 4,000 only five years ago. With so many brewers vying for your attention, the marketplace is competitive as hell. It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. That’s why we asked a handful of our favorite brewers to tell us what advice they have for home-brewers thinking of turning their hobby into a full-time job.
With the expert tips below, you’ll be a leg up on the frothy, hoppy, malt-laden competition.
Mark Safarik, brewmaster at Dogfish Head
Step One: Get educated on what it takes to produce consistent, high-quality beers (UC Davis, Siebel, Books, MBAA, etc). When in doubt or if troubles occur, see Step 1. Invest in a QA/QC program; you’re only as good as your last tank of beer. Brewing professionally is 20% brewing and 80% cleaning. If you are planning to have employees, hire smart, passionate people, pay them well, and keep them safe.