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How to open a microbrewery!

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Written by EFW Staff

Opening a microbrewery. When a passion becomes a job!

Where to start to open a microbrewery?

Many people tried to make beer, maybe with the help of specialized kit ready to be used and often, achieving good results. Starting from here, it is simple to think about opening a microbrewery. It is important to remind, however, that make beer at home for your own is different than produce beer to sell it.

Anyway, you won’t become an entrepreneur if you don’t know either the different types of beer and if you don’t have the simpler knowledge of agriculture, chemistry and microbiology. However, for those who has a great passion for this amazing drink and want try a new adventure, a microbrewery can be a good alternative to survive in this difficult period of economic crisis and a pleasant way to use a passion and skills.

There are diverse suggestions, but first of all it is important to make clear the reasons, the financial means, both monetary and material (as real estates and movable properties) and the technical skills. Then, you should find the route to follow, setting the direction. You can open a brewpub (the place to produce and sell beer) or a microbrewery (they produce beer to sell it to third parties).

Costs, rules, laws, equipment and tools

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This list can frighten, but these are the first thing to think about before opening a microbrewery. Either if you want to open a brewpub or a microbrewery, it is not possible to begin without a VAT, get informed on the recent laws, buy or rent necessary equipment and tools and calculate the costs. If you want to ask for a loan or other type of financing you need also a business plan and respect it in each one of its points.
The alternative is to cooperate with a company that offers turnkey breweries that are also be able to train the staff and assist you in every phase. It isn’t wrong to produce your own beer in an “agriturismo” because in this way, you don’t have to be subjected to particular fiscal or hygienic rules.
Take into consideration also the fact that, the approval of the Ministerial Decree n.212 (September 2010) consider beer as an agricultural product and, in this way, agro-breweries can count on European financing. Another thing that you have to keep in mind before starting this adventure, is that there are some courses to become entrepreneurs of beer.
Sign up for one of the websites that gather lot of craftsmen of the field (like, for instance “Unionbirrai”). As usual, from small businesses it is possible to create great results and excellent craft products that do justice to the Italian brew tradition.

Labelling and packaging

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On the contrary of what you think, in this difficult period of the Italian economy, the secret of the success is low prices but high quality beer. The competition is quite fierce and to enter the market it is necessary to propose to the clients a unique beer, characterised by great quality and produced with natural raw materials.
The price is important as well, but it is impossible to sell a high quality craft beer at the same price as the industrial one. This is a detail that beer lovers know very well. The label should represent your concept of beer, as it has to remain fixed in the mind of the consumers, as well as the taste that have to be unique and unforgettable. You also need a trade network and an efficient marketing and all this have to be supported also by a perfect accounting.
Thus, it is possible to transform your dream and passion in a real job but only if you do perfectly your homework. Read carefully also some guides written by who like you has already covered this path before you and try to keep in mind their suggestions and learn by their mistakes. Try to be different from the others, proposing a unique product, you will succeed for sure!

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EFW Staff