Chris Roberts Founder of Black Tap Brewing Company explains the importance of a brewery business plan.

Many people start businesses without having a robust business plan and supporting financial forecasts.

This seems like madness to me!

People are willingly throwing time and money at projects that they have not properly considered and analysed its viability.

Something like 50% of business start ups fail in year 1 and 90% of the rest fail in years 2 to 5.

If you are planning on setting up your own commercial brewery, regardless of size, it is imperative you carefully plan and research so that you can:

  • Assess the viability of your project before you start so you can make an informed decision about whether to risk your investment and the investment of others.
  • Significantly increase your chances of achieving your objectives due to proper strategic planning.
  • Fundamentally increase the chance of securing funding of ANY sort.
  • Build credibility with key stakeholders such as approving bodies who have an interest in what you are up to (such as HMRC, Environmental Health, Trading Standards, etc.)

If you do NOT do the proper planning and research then you will likely:

  • Struggle to get funding from investors and lenders who won’t want to risk their cash on perceived half-baked ideas.
  • Increase your chances of business failure in year 1 or between years 2 and 5.
  • Fail to achieve objectives due to a lack of planning.

So, as you can see, if you are planning to set up your own brewery is highly recommended.

It is a no brainer!

Unfortunately, for many people, who have not been involved in this sort of thing before, business planning can be a daunting and confusing prospect and people may not know where to start.

If this is you, then Our Nanobrewery Project offers a low cost online course which guides you through the full business planning process for your brewery. I highly recommend taking this course if you are planning on putting a brewery business plan together yourself.

I have been through the business planning process myself with Black Tap Brewing Company (and a few other small start ups), and it is THIS EXACT process that I take you through in our online course.

The Brewery Business Plan for Black Tap Brewing Company resulted in us:

  1. Raising £20k in grant funding. This is funding that doesn’t have to be paid back! It enabled us to purchase:
  2. Our first 1bbl pilot brewing system.
  3. Two beautiful 1bbl stainless steel conical fermenters.
  4. Thirty to forty Black Tap branded firkins and pins.
  5. A pallet of over 1,000 bottles and labels.
  6. A metric ton of grains.
  7. Electrical works to upgrade our little industrial unit to a full three phase power supply capable of handling our kit.
  8. Gaining free access to a professional business mentor for twelve months who really helped keep us on track during the start up phase of our business. This mentor was provided for free as part of the Speed Plus Business Start Up Programme. We had to pitch our brewery business plan in a Dragon’s Den style scenario. They said it was one of the best business plans they’d received on the Programme to date.
  9. Gained access, through the Programme, to a further £2k of interest free business loans with very favorable repayment options.
  10. Access to countless free business seminars and networking events through the Programme.
  11. Glided (relatively easily) through the red tape of setting up a commercial brewery and securing all of the approvals from HMRC, Environmental Health, Trading Standards and a host of others.

Having a clear sense of direction and a clear action plan also meant that we knew exactly what needed to be done and when we needed to do it. In fact, we actually achieved everything in our 3 year business plan by year 2 because we were so efficient. Take at a look Black Tap’s Facebook Page and have a look at what we’ve managed to achieve in a short space of time.

As you can see, spending a little time writing a detailed business plan and supporting financial forecasts can really make a difference to you achieving your dream of starting up your own brewery.

All of ONBP’s courses are available by clicking here.

Brewery Business Planning Service

ONBP also offers brewery business planning consultancy support for anyone wanting to delegate the business planning process to someone else. If this is you then drop an email to to discuss how this might work and what your unique requirements are.

Brewery business plan; the key to success
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