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PLANNING is the first phase of any brewery start up or expansion, and this area of the StartABrewery site is designed to provide awareness of the myriad of tasks to consider during the planning phase. The PLAN period includes all of the research and preparation to define the project up until your first significant financial commitment. Keep in mind that not all brewery concepts are created equal; some of these tasks may simply not apply to your start up business. However, it is also true that you often don’t know what you don’t know! Below is a list of distinct Categories within all brewery start up projects, each with a task list of action items to be completed while working through the PLAN phase. Each Category list will also link you to its Category page for further information to assist you on your journey, including educational materials and the task lists for that Category across the entire project. All information is provided by our knowledgeable contributors who are leaders in their area of specialty and respected in the craft beer industry.


•  Understand Cash Forecasting  •  Determine Cash vs. Accrual Basis  •  Understand Asset Reporting 
•  Set up Financials/Reports  •  Coordinate with Tax Accountant  •  Evaluate Your Costs


•  Learn about funding options  •  Understand credit criteria  •  Gather financial records  •  Collect equipment quotes
•  Include projections and capitalization in business plan  •  Review personal guarantees with partners 


•  Brand discovery research  •  Competitor research  •  Identify target audience  •  Understand creative presence 
•  Establish scope of work vs. cost  •  Consider deliverable dates  •  Review Graphic Designers


•  Research architect/design team  •  Interview/select design team  •  Feasibility study


•  Financial projections  •  Layout design  •  Equipment sizing  •  Location considerations  •  Assemble proforma 
•  Create Business Plan content


•  Evaluate Plan projects  •  Determine vendor resources  •  Research relevant Consultants (if any) 
•  Interview Consultants   •  Allocate personal bandwidth  •  Review consulting contracts  •  Work with Consultant


•  Research State distribution requirements  •  Review State franchise laws 
•  Understand requisite quality & consistency  •  Consider self-distribution


•  Brewing and Business Education  •  Brewery Staff Education  •  Professional Groups  •  Recommended Reading 
•  State Guild Information


•  Vision to define culture  •  Unemployment insurance  •  Networking & recruiting 
•  Understand contractors vs. employees  •  Understand volunteers vs. employees


•  Contact a Broker  •  Understand basic lines of coverage  •  Build it into your business plan
•  Consider Risk Management


•  Define type of brewery  •  Determine proper state licensing  •  Trademark research  •  Consider fundraising options  •  Consider business entity choice  •  Consult an attorney  •  Consult a CPA  •  Navigate location regulations 
•  Review PLAN phase contracts


•  Own or lease?  •  Remodel existing or build new?  •  Utility requirements  •  Zoning & property restrictions 
•  Size of brewing system  •  Production vs. tap room  •  Vision for growth


•  Tell your story  •  Curate a media list  •  Write a boilerplate  •  Create an electronic press kit template 
•  Identify niche advertising platforms/publications


•  Research service models  •  Consider curbside/to-go  •  Determine staff tipping model  •  Consider online sales 
•  Determine data needed from POS (consult with Accountant)  •  Contactless payment options? 
•  Research POS options that fit


•  Identify sales channels  •  Identify sales timeline  •  Consider sales staff  •  Consider Sales Compensation 
•  Sales projections


•  Refer to branding  •  Understand web presence  •  Evaluate cost vs. complexity  •  Consider deliverable dates 
•  Review web designers  •  Write a content calendar

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