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Start Your Own Microbrewery, Distillery, or Cidery: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success

Start Your Own Microbrewery, Distillery, or Cidery: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success

by Entrepreneur Media Inc., Corie Brown


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Start Your Own Microbrewery, Distillery, or Cidery and Craft Your Success Story

Growing each year, this multi-billion dollar industry, driven by consumer preferences, shows no signs of slowing down—giving you the perfect opportunity to start up.

Corie Brown of Zester Daily and our experts introduce you to more than 30 craft producers, including pioneers like Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Jörg Rupf creator of Hangar 1 Vodka, Kent Rabish owner of Grand Traverse Distillery, and Mike Beck co-owner of Uncle John’s Cider Mill.

You'll gain an insider’s look at how to:
Analyze craft products, their distinct challenges, and dynamic market
Write a winning business plan that promotes growth and secures funding
Keep overhead low and margins high with options like self-distribution
Capture customers and create evangelists with the story behind the brand
Enhance the brand experience with events, taprooms, tastings, and tours
Develop invaluable relationships with distributors and restaurants

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599185651
Publisher: Entrepreneur Press
Publication date: 06/30/2015
Series: StartUp Series
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

For more than 30 years, Entrepreneur Media has been setting the course for small business success. From startup to retirement, millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners trust the Entrepreneur Media family—Entrepreneur magazine,, Entrepreneur Press,, and our industry partners—to point them in the right direction. The Entrepreneur Media family is regarded as a beacon within the small to midsized business community, providing outstanding content, fresh opportunities, and innovative ways to push publishing, small business, and entrepreneurship forward.

Corie Brown is the cofounder and general manager of Zester Daily, a cooperative of 70 professional journalists writing about all aspects of what we eat and drink. She is a professional journalist who has been on staff with BusinessWeek, Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times and recently authored a cover story on Internet marketing guru Seth Godin.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Preface xv

Chapter 1 Today's Craft Alcoholic Beverage Industry 1

In the Beginning 3

Time to Jump In? 4

Different Products, Distinct Challenges, Dynamic Markets 5

Craft Breweries 6

Craft Distillers 11

Craft Hard Cider 15

Chapter 2 Making a Mark in the Craft Alcoholic Beverage Industry 19

Get to Know Ken Grossman and Jim Koch 20

Are You a Koch or a Grossman? 21

Start Prepared 22

Know Yourself 22

Stand Tall 23

Set Goals 23

Advice from Two Leaders 24

Ken Grossman; Be Nimble, Be Smart 24

Jim Koch: Make Friends 24

New Craft Brewers, Distillers, and Hard Cider Makers 25

Step One: The Garage 26

Chapter 3 Launching a New Craft Brand 29

June Lake Brewing, June Lake, California 30

Model for a New Craft Brewery 32

Advice from a Veteran: Steve Hindy, Cofounder, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, New York 33

Ventura Spirits Company, Ventura, California 34

Model for a New Craft Distillery 35

Advice from a Veteran: Jörg Rupf, Founder, St. George Spirits, Alameda, California 36

Brooks Dry Cider, San Francisco, California 36

Model for a New Craft Hard Cidery 38

Advice from a Veteran: Mike Beck, Owner, Uncle John's Fruit House Winery, St. Johns, Michigan 39

Go on a Mission 39

Say Something 40

Creating a Winning Business Plan 41

Executive Summary 43

Business Description 43

Market Strategies 44

Competitive Analysis 45

Design and Development Plan 45

Operations and Management Plan 46

Financial Factors 46

Chapter 4 Regulation and Taxation 49

Washington 50

The States 51

Federal Alcoholic Beverage Laws 52

Permits and Approvals 53

Distribution 53

Taxes 53

Hiring an Accountant 54

Choosing an Accountant 56

State Alcoholic Beverage Laws 58

Texas 58

New York State 61

California 62

State Distribution Laws 64

State Taxes 64

Chapter 5 Craft Businesses That Work 67

Location, Location, Location 69

Florida 72

Portland, Oregon 72

Los Angeles, California 73

Hand-Crafted Companies 74

Grand Traverse Distillery, Traverse City, Michigan 74

Albemarle Cider Works, Rural Ridge Farm, North Garden, Virginia 76

Alchemy & Science, Burlington, Vermont 77

Greenbar Craft Distillery, Los Angeles, California 79

Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), Portland, Oregon 80

Troy Cider, Sebastopol, California 82

Harlem Brewing, Harlem, New York 83

Wormtown Brewery, Worcester, Massachusetts 85

Green Star Brewing, Chicago, Illinois 86

Chapter 6 The Craft Customer 89

Generation Craft 90

The Rise of Big Craft 90

The Craft Identity 92

International Markets 94

Chapter 7 Financing Craft Beverage Companies 97

Self-Financing 99

Equipment Leasing 102

Investors 102

A Word of Caution 105

Private Equity 106

Institutions 107

State Support 107

Crowdfunding Rewards Programs 108

Crowdfunding Equity Campaigns 111

Sell a Brand 112

Craft Buying Craft 114

Selling to an Industrial Beer or Spirits Company 114

Chapter 8 Gaining Traction in a Crowded Market 117

What Is Branding, Exactly? 120

Building a Branding Strategy 122

Bringing It All Together 123

Getting Started 124

Distribution Means Marketing 128

Chapter 9 Shovels at the Gold Rush 133

Is the Equipment Niche for You? 134

The Growing Equipment Market 134

Business Is Hopping 135

Supply Side Economics 136

Making the Jump to a New Product 136

Chapter 10 Defining Craft in a New Era 139

High West Distillery 141

Tito's Handmade Vodka 143

Understanding Your Unique Selling Proposition 144

Chapter 11 Does the Party End? 147

Anchor Brewing and Anchor Distilling 149

Boulevard Brewery 151

The Foreseeable Future 152

Appendix: Craft Brewing, Distilling, and Cidering Resources 153

Associations 154

Market Trends and Craft Industry Websites 155

Equipment Suppliers and Distributors 157

A Flight of Breweries, Distilleries, and Cider Makers 158

National Craft Beer Festivals 165

Craft Spirit Festivals 166

Glossary 173

Index 175

Customer Reviews