The Session #75: The Business of Brewing


The Session (aka Beer Blogging Friday) is an opportunity once a month for beer bloggers from around the world to get together and write from their own unique perspective on a single topic.

This month’s session is hosted by Chuck Lenatti at Allbrews who is interested in hearing from “bloggers and others who have first-hand knowledge of the complexities and pitfalls of starting a commercial brewery”.

While I’m sure this is a topic that will greatly interest Darren over at I Dream of Brewery, setting up a brewery is not something I’ve given much thought to. Well besides thinking, “Man, I am never doing that”. I’m a homebrewer and, while I enjoy the creative process and the actual brewing, I hate the cleaning part. And,as both pro and amateur brewers know, cleaning is huge part of brewing. So if I don’t like cleaning involved in homebrewing, I would certainly dislike the amplified level that would be required in a commercial brewery.

Also, I don’t know enough about brewing to go pro – and I don’t think I ever will. And the idea of being able to consistently make beer good enough that people will pay money for seems totally beyond me.

But the biggest reasons I’m not interested in the male pipe dream of owning my own brewery is money and headaches. It costs a lot of money to start up and run a brewery, even if you’re doing it on contract brewing level. There’s also the headaches of having to hassle venues to put your beer on tap or stock your bottles in their fridges. And the big one – the dreaded excise tax. In Australia, beer is taxed more than other forms of alcohol and the excise tax system is quite convoluted. At least that’s the impression I’ve come away with after talking to various brewers about it, some of whom dread Sunday nights because they have to sit down with a calculator and do all their tax calculations for the government.

So I’m quite happy to stay a buyer of beer rather than a maker of it.

It's your shout

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