The Key Components of a
Brewery Business Plan
Writing a business plan for your Brewery is important, but it shouldn’t be complicated. This is meant to be an outline to help you prepare to write your brewery business plan that will help you secure funding and help you both start-up and operate your brewery successfully. Here we will give you the basic components of what your brewery business plan should look like and where we can help.
Whether you’re building a business plan to raise money, grow your business, or just need to work through the practical functionality of your idea; every business plan needs to cover these essential topics. Here’s a quick overview of each topic. There are many more details to consider for each step that's where our expertise here at Plato Brewing and Consulting can assist.
The executive summary is an overview of your Brewery and your plan. It comes first in your plan and is ideally only one to two pages to clearly and concisely describe your Brewery and Business. Most people write it last, as it is really a culmination and summary of your entire business plan.
The opportunity section answers these questions: What are you actually selling and how are you solving a problem (or “need”) for your market - Are you specializing in certain beer styles? Are you offering a completely new or unique Beer, Product, or Service? What sets your brewery apart from the other breweries in your area or the country (if you are planning on vast expansion)? Who is your target market and/or prime demographic?
In the execution chapter of your business plan, you’ll answer the question: how are you going to take your opportunity and turn it into a business? This section will cover your branding, marketing, and sales approach. It will also include your plan for operations as well as your milestones and metrics for success.
Company and Management Summary
Investors look for great teams in addition to great ideas. Use the company and management chapter to describe your current team and who you need to hire. Are you hiring an accomplished and experienced brewer? Are you a brewer yourself? Does your management team include an equally accomplished marketing or sales Director? These things will help you set your Brewery apart from others and show the unique way your team will ensure success in key departments of your company. You will also provide a quick overview of your legal structure, location, and history if you’re already up and running.
Brewery Production, Sales, and Financial Plan
Your business plan isn’t complete without an accurate Budget and Financial Forecast for both your Brewery and Tasting Room. We can assist with the fine details of what to include in your financial plan, but you will want to start with a sales forecast, sales/distribution model (Tasting room Only? Packaging only? A mix of both?), cash flow statement, income statement (also called profit and loss), and your balance sheet.
If you need more space for product images or additional information, use the appendix for those details. This would be a great place to include any additional charts, statistics, or reference material you felt did not quite fit in with the flow of your business plan and/or pitch presentation. A well-organized appendix shows the reader that you have fully thought through some of the finer details. Especially if a question comes up that can be easily referenced with data found in your business plan appendix.
As you can see, writing a brewery business plan is as important as it is useful to both start up, secure funding, and operate your business. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, and there are definitely some specialized aspects when it comes to starting and operating a multi-faceted business like a Brewery. However, Brewery Consultants are here to assist and guide you through the process to make it as simple as possible as well as help you articulate your brewery concept for yourself and ultimately your consumers!
Derek Wasak Owner/Brewery Consultant, Plato Brewing and Consulting
Derek is a graduate of the Siebel Institute/World Brewing Academy and has been a professional brewer specializing in Production and Operations Management since 2009. He is an expert in all things brewing from grain to glass as well as brewery planning, forecasting, budgeting, and construction. He founded Plato Brewing and Consulting Inc. in 2019 to share his knowledge and experience.
What is Proforma?
Forming a new business or a substantial expansion of an existing business is a life changing risk. A proforma transforms that risk to an educated level. This establishes confidence in the process of the person or group undertaking this voyage along with the financiers backing it up.
The goal of authoring a proforma is to reveal the true bottom line to answer one simple question: Are my assumptions viable?
Before the Business Plan
All your friends love your homebrew. You often hear from them - "Hey, this is better than XYZ Brewery over on Main Street"; " You need to open a brewery"; "I would so hang out there all the time if you opened a brewery."; "This is a medal-winning beer."
Before you start writing that business plan, I encourage you to do a little soul searching and research. There's so much to consider besides "great" beer that plays a factor in your brewery's success.
The Business Plan
When thinking of starting a brewery, or any business for that matter, it is essential to have a Business Plan which details what you intend to do, how you intend to do it, how much money you will need to accomplish your plan, and the strategies and tactics that will help you achieve success.
The Business Plan has two important purposes. First, the Business Plan is presented to potential investors. It provides investors with the necessary information allowing them to make a most informed investment