How Much Does it Really Cost to Open a Brewery: A Look at the Expenses

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Dreaming of opening your own brewery but stumped by the financial aspect? You’re not alone; many would-be brewers don’t realize that costs can soar up to $2 million in some instances.

Our comprehensive guide aims to cast light on this often murky subject, breaking down all potential expenses from equipment and location to operational overheads. Let’s get you one step closer to making an informed decision for your brewing dream!

Key Takeaways

  • Opening a brewery can cost between $500,000 to $1.5 million, depending on the size and type of brewery.
  • Up – front costs for opening a brewery include construction and building expenses, equipment purchases, permit fees, and rent or mortgage payments.
  • Recurring costs for operating a brewery include utilities, insurance, labor expenses, inventory costs, marketing and advertising.
  • Brewery equipment can range from $100,000 to $1 million in cost.
  • Taproom furnishings can range from $10,000 to $100,000 or more.
  • Location and building costs can vary from $50,000 to over $500,000.
  • Operational costs include labor expenses (20% to 35% of total operating costs), inventory costs (20% to 30% of revenue), capital reinvestment (around 10% of revenue), and marketing/PR expenses.

Overview of Brewery Startup Costs

The cost of opening a brewery can range from $500,000 to $1.5 million, depending on the complexity of the operation.

Average cost of opening a brewery

Opening a brewery costs a lot. You may spend between $500,000 and $1.5 million. The cost changes with the type of brewery you wish to open. A small craft brewery could cost from $150,000 to $500,000.

Bigger craft breweries need more money. Most breweries take about $250,000 to $1 million to start up. If your plan is big and includes many types of beer, it might cost even more than that.

Breakdown of brewery startup expenses

Starting a brewery involves juggling numerous costs that can vary widely. Here’s a deeper look into some of these expenses:

Expense Category Average Cost
Brewery Equipment $100,000 to $1 million
Building and Location Costs Can significantly vary based on rent/mortgage rates, construction, and licensure
Operational Costs Include labor, inventory, marketing, technology and capital reinvestment costs
Startup Costs for Craft Breweries $150,000 to $500,000
Startup Costs for Microbreweries Can be on the lower end but varies

Knowing these costs is key in understanding the financial commitments needed to start a brewery. Remember, the total cost can range from $250,000 to $2 million or even more, depending on the scale of the operation.

Up-front costs

Starting a brewery involves various up-front costs that need to be considered when budgeting for your business. On average, the total cost of opening a brewery can range from as low as $250,000 to upwards of $2 million.

These initial expenses include construction and building costs, rent or mortgage payments for the facility, licensing and permit fees, and also the purchase of necessary equipment and furnishings.

Depending on the scale of your operation, brewery equipment alone can range anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million. It’s important to carefully plan and allocate funds for these up-front costs in order to set yourself up for success in starting your own brewery business.

Recurring costs

Recurring costs are ongoing expenses that you will need to budget for when opening a brewery. These costs include things like utilities, rent or mortgage payments, insurance, labor expenses, inventory costs, and marketing and advertising.

Utilities such as electricity and water can add up over time, so it’s important to factor these into your monthly budget. Rent or mortgage payments will also be an ongoing expense that you need to account for.

Insurance is necessary to protect your business from unexpected events and liability claims. Labor expenses include wages for your staff members who help run the brewery on a day-to-day basis.

Inventory costs cover the raw materials needed for brewing beer as well as packaging materials like bottles or cans. Marketing and advertising expenses are essential for promoting your brewery and attracting customers.

Brewery Equipment and Furnishings

The cost of brewery equipment can vary greatly depending on the size and capacity of the operation. From brewing tanks to kegs and packaging machinery, these expenses are an important consideration for anyone looking to open a brewery.

Read on to learn more about the specific costs involved in setting up the equipment and furnishings for your brewery.

Cost of brewing equipment

Brewing equipment is one of the major expenses when starting a brewery. The cost can vary depending on the scale of the operation, ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. Factors like the size of brewing tanks, fermentation vessels, and packaging machinery all contribute to the overall cost. For smaller craft breweries or nano breweries, the initial investment for equipment may be on the lower end of this range. It’s important for cost-conscious buyers to consider their production goals and budget carefully when deciding on the right brewing equipment for their brewery.

Taproom furnishings

Taproom furnishings are an important aspect of opening a brewery. The cost of furnishing your taproom can range from $10,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on the style and quality you choose. This includes tables, chairs, bar stools, lighting fixtures, and decor items. It’s essential to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for your customers while considering budget constraints. By carefully selecting furnishings that align with your brand identity and target audience preferences, you can create a space that encourages people to stay and enjoy your craft beer offerings.

Bottling and distribution expenses

One of the expenses that breweries need to consider is bottling and distribution. When it comes to bottling, there are costs involved in purchasing bottles, labels, and packaging materials.

The equipment required for bottling also adds to the expense. For distribution, breweries may need to invest in delivery vehicles or work with third-party logistics providers. Shipping costs can also be a significant factor, especially if the brewery plans to distribute their beer outside of their local area.

It’s important for breweries to budget for these expenses as they can impact profitability and overall business operations.

Location and Building Costs

Location and building costs for opening a brewery can vary significantly depending on factors such as the size and condition of the space, the location itself, and any necessary renovations or upgrades.

Construction and building expenses

The cost of construction and building expenses for opening a brewery can vary greatly depending on factors like location and size. On average, these expenses can range from $50,000 to $500,000 or more. This includes costs for renovations, remodeling, or building a new facility. The price may also include permits and licenses needed for the construction process. It’s important to carefully budget for these expenses and consider any additional costs that may arise during the construction phase.

Rent or mortgage payments

Rent or mortgage payments are a significant expense when opening a brewery. The cost can vary depending on the location and size of the space, as well as the demand for commercial properties in that area.

Rents for brewery spaces can range from $1,500 to $10,000 per month, while mortgage payments may be higher if you choose to buy a property. It’s important to consider your budget and do thorough research to find a suitable location that fits within your financial plan.

Licensing and permit fees

Opening a brewery also comes with licensing and permit fees that need to be considered. These costs can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the location and specific requirements of your area.

It is important to research and understand the licensing process for breweries in your state or region, as well as any additional permits needed for things like serving alcohol or operating a taproom.

These fees are an essential part of starting a brewery and should be factored into your overall budgeting and financial planning.

Operational Costs

Operational costs include labor expenses, inventory costs, capital reinvestment, marketing, branding, and PR, as well as technology expenses.

Labor expenses

Labor expenses are an important consideration when opening a brewery. These costs include salaries for employees, such as brewers, bartenders, and waitstaff. The amount of labor required will depend on the size of the brewery and taproom. On average, labor expenses can range from 20% to 35% of a brewery’s total operating costs.

The number and experience level of employees needed will also impact labor expenses. Hiring skilled brewers may cost more than hiring entry-level workers. It’s important to consider these costs when creating a budget for your brewery.

Additionally, offering competitive wages and benefits is essential for attracting and retaining talented staff members. This can contribute to higher labor expenses but can also lead to increased productivity and customer satisfaction.

It’s worth noting that some breweries choose to operate with minimal staffing at the beginning stages in order to keep labor expenses low. However, as the business grows, additional employees may be necessary to meet demand.

In conclusion, while labor expenses can vary depending on factors such as size and location, it is important for prospective brewery owners to carefully consider these costs when planning their budget.

Inventory costs

Inventory costs are an important consideration when opening a brewery. These costs include the price of ingredients for brewing beer, as well as packaging materials like cans or bottles. Depending on the size and variety of beers offered, inventory costs can vary greatly. On average, breweries spend between 20% to 30% of their revenue on inventory. For example, if a brewery generates $500,000 in annual revenue, they could expect to spend around $100,000 to $150,000 on inventory each year. It’s essential for cost-conscious buyers to carefully manage and budget for these ongoing expenses to ensure profitability and success in the brewery business.

Capital reinvestment

To keep a brewery running smoothly and to continue growing, capital reinvestment is essential. This means setting aside money from profits to invest back into the business. This can be used for equipment upgrades and maintenance, expanding operations, or launching new beers.

On average, breweries allocate around 10% of their revenue towards capital reinvestment. By investing in the right areas, breweries can improve efficiency, increase production capacity, and ultimately make more money in the long run.

It’s a crucial part of ensuring the success and sustainability of a brewery.

Marketing, branding, and PR

Marketing, branding, and PR are essential for the success of a brewery. These activities help to create awareness about the brewery and its products, attract customers, and build a strong brand image.

However, they can also add to the expenses of opening a brewery. The cost of marketing, branding, and PR can vary depending on the strategies employed. This includes advertising costs for print or digital media, designing and printing promotional materials such as flyers or brochures, hiring professionals for graphic design or social media management, organizing events or sponsorships to enhance visibility in the community.

It is important to allocate a budget for these activities while considering cost-effective options that reach the target audience effectively without overspending on unnecessary expenses.

Technology expenses

Technology expenses are an important consideration when opening a brewery. These costs can include things like point-of-sale systems, inventory management software, and brewing equipment controls.

Depending on the size and complexity of your operation, technology expenses can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands or more. It’s crucial to factor in these costs when creating your budget for opening a brewery.

By investing in the right technology upfront, you can streamline operations and improve efficiency, ultimately saving you money in the long run. Keep in mind that technology is constantly evolving, so it’s essential to stay up-to-date with industry advancements to remain competitive and maximize profitability.

Funding Options for Opening a Brewery

Different funding options are available for entrepreneurs looking to open a brewery, including seeking investors, applying for small business loans, and exploring crowdfunding opportunities such as Honeycomb Credit’s crowdfunding campaign.

Seeking investors

If you’re looking to open a brewery but don’t have all the money upfront, one option is to seek investors. This means finding people who are willing to provide the financial support you need in exchange for a share of your brewery’s profits or ownership.

It can be a good way to raise capital without taking on debt. Keep in mind that finding investors may take time and effort, and it’s important to have a solid business plan and pitch to attract potential investors.

Additionally, consider any legal or regulatory requirements for accepting investments from others. Ultimately, having investors can help you get your brewery off the ground and increase your chances of success.

Small business loans

Small business loans can be a viable option for financing the opening of a brewery. These loans provide the necessary funds upfront, which can help cover expenses such as equipment, construction costs, and working capital.

The amount you can borrow will depend on factors like your creditworthiness and the lender’s requirements. It’s important to note that small business loans typically come with interest rates and repayment terms that need to be considered when budgeting for your brewery startup costs.

These loans can be obtained from traditional banks or alternative lenders who specialize in providing funding to small businesses. Remember, obtaining a loan requires careful planning and consideration of your financial situation before making any decisions.

Crowdfunding opportunities

One option for funding the opening of a brewery is through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding allows individuals to contribute small amounts of money towards a specific project or business in exchange for rewards or equity.

This can be an attractive option for cost conscious buyers as it helps spread out the financial burden and can provide additional exposure for the brewery. There are various crowdfunding platforms available, such as Honeycomb Credit, where breweries can create campaigns to raise funds from their community and supporters.

By leveraging this opportunity, breweries have the potential to secure the necessary capital needed to cover some of their startup expenses.

Honeycomb Credit crowdfunding campaign

If you’re a cost-conscious buyer looking to open a brewery, crowdfunding can be a viable option to consider. One platform that offers crowdfunding opportunities specifically for small businesses like breweries is Honeycomb Credit.

With their crowdfunding campaign, you can raise money from individual investors who believe in your business idea and want to support you financially. This can help alleviate some of the upfront costs associated with opening a brewery, such as equipment expenses or building costs.

By leveraging the power of community support and investment, you may be able to secure the funds needed to turn your brewing dreams into reality. So, if you’re seeking an alternative funding source for your brewery startup, exploring Honeycomb Credit’s crowdfunding campaign could be worth considering.

Small sentences:

– If you want to open a brewery without spending too much money, consider using Honeycomb Credit’s crowdfunding campaign.

– With this campaign, people can invest in your business idea and help cover upfront costs.


In conclusion, opening a brewery involves significant expenses. The cost can range from $250,000 to over $2 million, depending on the size and complexity of the operation. Brewery equipment alone can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million.

However, it is possible to start a brewery with lower startup costs by opting for smaller-scale operations like nano or microbreweries. Ultimately, the profitability of a brewery depends on factors such as location and business success.

It’s important for cost-conscious buyers to carefully budget and consider alternative funding options when planning to open a brewery.


1. What does it cost to start a brewery business?

The financial outlay for starting a brewery varies. It depends on the size of the operation, like a microbrewery or nano-brewery, and other potential costs such as construction and overhead.

2. Are there different expenses involved in opening a standard brewery vs. Bootstrapped operation?

Yes, starting a standard brewery involves more complex operations and expenses compared to bootstrapped ones like equipment financing and profitability analysis.

3. How much is the initial investment for opening a new restaurant with brewery?

The capital needed to open this kind of dual startup can be high due to both restaurant startup costs and brewing operations.

4. Can I get help figuring out the monetary requirements for my microbrewery business plan?

Yes! There are experts who specialize in cost analysis for starting breweries. They guide you with budgeting for your venture including estimating opening costs.

5. Is it profitable to open a nano-brewery?

Breweries of all sizes could turn profits based on market trends & good management despite substantial upfront investments.

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