United States’ beer volume sales dropped by 2 percent in 2019. Despite that, craft beer sales saw a growth of 4 percent. Craft beer sales now account for more than 25 percent of the U.S. beer market, valued at $116 billion. Yes, this is a business venture worth exploring.
If craft beer is your favored weekend drink, you are off to a good start. After all, experts always advise wannabe entrepreneurs to pursue a business they are passionate about. That is something you’ve already got covered. You can go straight to the nitty-gritty. Here are the things you need to start brewing from home.
Write a business plan
You cannot just wing this. You need to come up with a business model that outlines all of your plans. What is your vision for your entrepreneurial endeavor? What steps are you going to take to achieve each goal that will bring you closer to your vision? All of these must be written down.
A written business model will also help you should you need to reach out to potential investors. Even if you are only tapping family members and friends with spare savings to contribute to your capital, it pays to have a foolproof business plan to present. That gives an impression of earnestness and legitimacy.
Ideally, on top of your love for craft beer, you also have a license to practice chemistry. Or you’re a chemistry teacher a la Walter White. That will make it easier for you to be as creative as needed. You will be able to come up with all sorts of flavors that customers won’t get enough of.
But if you’re neither a licensed chemist nor a chemistry teacher, do not fret. You can still pursue this business with little knowledge of how the science of brewing works. You know what good beer tastes like, and that should be enough. At least during the planning stage. But once you got your capital and you’re good to go, you need to educate yourself on the chemistry behind craft beer.
There are different methods of brewing. These include all-grain, extract, and beer kits. The equipment you’ll need depends on what brewing method you want to do. However, there are basic pieces of equipment you can’t do without, such as a beer kit, airlock, fermenting bucket, bottle stick, tap or siphon, and a long stirrer.
You also need a liquid-filling machine. This will hasten the bottling process. There will be less wastage as well.
Look for suppliers
You need to work with reliable suppliers that will give you the most bang for your buck. Supplies you need include brewing ingredients such as yeast, hops, and malt. You also need suppliers for bottles and caps, as well as for your packaging needs.
Be most careful when purchasing brewing ingredients. Keep in mind that you are making a product that people will ingest. If you made the mistake of buying from a shady supplier with compromised products, you could be putting people’s safety at risk.
Get your branding on-point. Who is your target market? That question is integral to coming up with effective branding. For example, if you want to tap the Gen Z market, you would do well not to shy away from colors and an overall vibrant vibe. The Gen Z crowd wears all the colors from the rainbow.
Branding should manifest on the beer logo, label, and packaging. It should also direct the tone and aesthetic of your web presence.
Speaking of web presence, you need to aggressively market via social media. It’s free. And it’s the easiest way to reach a broad audience. Make sure that the content you share aligns with your branding. Otherwise, your audience might get confused.
Consider hosting a mini-event to launch your line of craft beers. This is an investment that yields considerable ROI. It’s also a strong strategy for building brand awareness in a more personal manner. You get to interact with your customers up close and personal and build rapport.
As part of your marketing, visit pubs and restaurants in your area. You might be able to convince them to carry your brand on their menus. Alternatively, you can sell straight from home via e-commerce. Just make sure you have a foolproof delivery system.
Starting a business is both exciting and daunting. But if you keep yourself level-headed and focused, you’ll get through the initial rough patch. Believe in your brand. And consistently deliver quality products. The rest will follow.