When I was a kid, my mother always told me to pursue what I was passionate about. In middle school and high school that was mostly a buzz and hot chicks, I always caught the buzz, but couldn’t quite catch the girls I was reaching for. These days, not much has changed, I’m still reaching for beers, and I’m always reaching to grab a piece of ass when it walks by, it seems I’m passionate about both!
So how can I turn my passions into profits? I don’t know about ass grabbing, but I do know that making some cash off homebrews is achievable.
So, where do you start? You need to get your recipe down, the product is everything, and if your brew doesn’t taste amazing, I can’t imagine your going to sell a bunch of it. You also gotta ease back off of the quality control efforts. That seems to eat heavily into profits. You need to figure out bottling, labeling, packaging, and distribution. Sounds easy enough, you just have to put the brew down long enough to figure this out.
Ok, that seems like a reasonable place to start your own craft brewing company. This can be done out of the comforts of your garage, so the barrier to entry isn’t crazy. For my own self-reference, I’m going to make an itemized list of the things I think I will be needed to get this kicked off right!
There are probably more line items I am missing to get this off of the ground quickly, but those are the basics if you wanted to start now. If you have space in your garage and have the hunger, rather, the thirst to get this done, it’s a no brainer. It’s time to turn those bullet points into a beer brewing newbie’s ultimate resource. Hold my beer, here I go!
Home Brewing Equipment:
• Large Aluminum Pot
• Six Gallon Plastic Bucket With Spigot
• Six Gallon Fermentation Bucket
• Airlock and Stopper
• Small Nylon Bags
• Racking Cane
• Food Grade Sanitizer
• Hydrometer Jar
• Waterproof Thermometer
• Bottle Caps
• Bottle Capper
• Bottling Wand
• 3/8 Inch Beverage Line
• Beer Bottles
I copied that information from a professional site, and there is probably more equipment needed, plus details on how to actually get a brew started. Still, as a general reference, that will work!
Home Brewing Recipe:
This is something new to me, so again, I’m going to scrub the web for an IPA recipe. Considering that is what I’m drowning in these days, we can use that as a baseline reference.
10 minutes later….. Ok, I found an excellent recipe for a Hazey IPA, and I’m just going to copy/paste it here to save me some time, but not before I give credit to Beer and Brewing for publishing the recipe first. Thanks, fellas!
Batch size: 5.5 gallons (20.8 liters)
9 lb (4.1 kg) Pilsner liquid malt extract
1.5 lb (680 g) oat malt
1 lb (454 g) pale malt
8 oz (227 g) Golden Naked Oats
0.50 oz (14 g) Warrior [16% AA] at 30 minutes
2 oz (57 g) each Citra [11% AA] and Mosaic [12.5% AA] at whirlpool at 170°F for 20 minutes
2 oz each Citra [11% AA] and Mosaic [12.5% AA] on day 3 of fermentation for seven days
Wyeast 1318 London III, Imperial A38 Juice, White Labs WLP066 London Fog
Steep the grains at 150–165°F (66–74°C) for 20 minutes in 5 quarts (4.7 l) of water. Rinse the grains with an additional 5 quarts (4.7 l) of 170°F (77°C) water. Add 4 quarts (3.8 l) of water to the kettle and bring to a boil. If you’re doing a full boil, add 12 quarts (11.4 l) of water.
Remove the kettle from the heat and dissolve 1/3 of the malt extract (3 lb/1.4 kg) in the wort. Bring the pot back to a boil and add the Warrior hops. After 20 minutes, remove the kettle from the heat and add the remaining extract. Return to the boil for a final 10 minutes. Cool the wort to 170°F (77°C) and stir to form a whirlpool. Add the Citra and Mosaic hops. Steep the hops for 20 minutes before chilling the wort to 66°F (19°C).
Aerate the wort, pitch your yeast, and ferment at 66°F (19°C) for three days. Add the dry hops and continue to ferment for seven more days. Package, carbonate, and serve the beer. Consume within a month.
Thanks Beer and Brewing for the recipe!
Bottling Your Home Brew:
Now you need to siphon that fabulous nectar of love into some bottles so they can be capped off, stored, and sold for consumption. There are home bottling kits out there you can purchase to make your bottling job easier on you.
Having A Product To Sell:
Well, this should be the result of all that hard work. It might take a dozen batches before you really dial in that flavor you want, I don’t know, but I expect at least that before I would want to put my name on it and prepare it for distribution.
Marketing Your Product:
No matter how good your beer is, nobody is going to drink if they don’t know about it. You may want to invest in SEO services or hire a media buying agency to get you some radio time, magazine ads, or local television spots. The internet is the place to go, especially if you are on a budget. Paid ads through social media and on platforms like youtube will allow you to target beer lovers. Do the internet thing with a reliable marketing agency.
Packaging Your Beers To Ship:
You need to get your bottles packaged properly, so you don’t lose any product during shipment. You are not the first home brewer in need of packing material, there are plenty of places online that offer packing for beer bottles.
You might start out selling locally, then pushing bottles through the internet, but if you plan to grow this business, you have to get distribution figured out. There are alcohol distribution companies all over the world, try to find someone local to help at first, they can provide the insight needed to take that next big step.
Well, time for a beer. That was more typing than I wanted to do on a Friday afternoon. If you get a brew kit for Christmas, take a shot at it, and maybe next year at this time, you will be mailing bottles of homebrew as Christmas gifts to family and friends.