The cost of a brewery

Larry 'n NassauI realize it sounds like I’m obsessed with beer lately but I’m merely trying to promote an idea that could result in a business and a few jobs for Greenfield. As I’ve said before, several have expressed some interest in starting up a small brewery in town and I’m doing whatever I can, while sitting in my recliner, to help them out.

One question asked of me was, “How much would it cost to start a brewery?” At the time I hadn’t a clue. I just know that the people behind the new brewery in Cincinnati, Rhinegeist, are working with a budget of about $1.2 million. I’m pretty certain that those on my list of interested persons don’t have that kind of money, alone or combined.

But, I did a simple Google search for small batch brewing systems and came up with a company in Toledo, Ohio called SABCO. They manufacture a brewing system called BrewMagic that can produce batches up to 14 gallons and do multiple batches simultaneously. Furthermore, it is a system that one of America’s most popular craft breweries, Dogfish Head Brewery, began life with and still uses for experimental batches.

I checked out BrewMaster’s website, watched several videos, did some reading, and discovered that the system Dogfish is currently using for their trial brews cost around $7,000. Now, that is a far cry from $1.2 million and puts the start-up cost well within what many people could afford.

One of the interested parties suggested a brew pub or a brewery could be started in Greenfield and funded using something called crowdsourcing, a system of financing that employs contributions from large numbers of people. I don’t know much of anything about such things but while I don’t have the resources or desire to get into a business I would be willing and able to contribute a few hundred to help make something good happen in town.

After all, Greenfield is my town, most of my friends live there, my grandchildren attend school there, and it provided both my wife and I careers. I could certainly justify giving a little back. All I would want in return would be a cool pint of their first brew, Paint Creek Mud Puppy. 

I’m laying claim to this name; Paint Creek Mud Puppy; embellished with the sweat off Duncan MacArthur’s brow!

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