The way you build your brewery has many implications for your
business, ranging from
financing to operations. The construction of your brewery
should always be taken into account when you're first
The four most important considerations when building your
brewery are the location, building façade,
retail areas and the layout of the brewery.
1. Location, Location, Location
One of the most important factors to consider when building a
brewery is its location. Your ideal location will depend on your
target demographic, distribution strategy and budget.
In the early days of craft brewing, many breweries were
constructed in locations that offered significant savings in
capital costs or rent. This meant quite a few were placed in
industrial areas with little foot traffic. In those instances, that
lack of pedestrian traffic was fine because the option to sell from
the brewery was not available.
However, breweries now have the ability to sell direct to
consumers. As a result, it is in your best interest to take a very
thoughtful look at how many people will actually pop into your
brewery for a visit (and ideally, a purchase). You'll also need
to have access to highways and local roads so you can easily get
your beer to the next level of distribution.
2. Building Façade
Another critical piece of your brewery construction should
include the façade. The front face of your brewery will say
a lot about your brand to the consumer. The wine industry has
taught us that people create emotional attachments to the places
where they buy their beer and if you create an attractive exterior,
you will drive traffic.
3. Tasting Rooms and Retail Space
All too often, the brewery is only that - a space where beer is
brewed. In the modern brewing era, all brewers should consider a
tasting room or retail space that is open, inviting and
thoughtfully decorated. Include anything you can that will
help the consumer understand how beer is made. You will need a
draught beer cooler, bar and functional retail area to satisfy the
demand you are about to create.
4. Brewery Layout
The brewery itself is the cornerstone of the building. It needs
to be laid out in a way that allows for materials to come in one
way and beer to go out the other way. Proper flow of materials will
allow for efficiency and cost savings. You need to build a large
cooler where your finished product can be stored and it's far
better to overestimate on size rather than underestimate.
Also, when you are designing the plans for this building, you
should think about where your brewery might be in five years. By
that, I mean if you will produce 2,000 hectolitres in your first
year, will the space and brewing equipment allow you to grow to
5,000 or 10,000 hectolitres? Usually, a well thought out brew house
can last a long time without getting bigger, but you need space to
house more fermentation and aging vessels.
Take your time when you are designing and building your brewery
because it will have a huge impact on your product.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
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