How to Write a Craft Brewery Business Plan

How to Write a Craft Brewery Business Plan

The craft brewery industry has been growing at a substantial pace across the US in the last few years based on research from our business plan writer.  

Additionally, the burgeoning number of craft brewery enterprises emerging across the United States has necessitated the creation of craft brewery business plans.  The craft brewery industry is experiencing a surge in growth for several reasons.  Firstly, there is an increasing appreciation for craft-brewed beer within society, leading to a consistent flow of new craft brewery startups nationwide.  Secondly, a relaxation of regulations by state and local governments has created a more conducive environment for establishing craft breweries.  Lastly, craft breweries serve as an excellent complement to traditional bars, further fueling their proliferation.

As the popularity of craft breweries shows no signs of waning, we can anticipate a continued influx of businesses into this sector.  To aid these emerging craft brewery businesses in their startup and growth phases, the following is a set of guidelines and best practices for composing a craft brewery business plan (10/23).


Executive Summary for a Craft Brewery Business Plan.

The executive summary portion of a craft brewery business plan ought to concentrate on crucial elements of the organization’s internal and external surroundings.  For enterprises in the craft brewery sector, it is essential to address the subject of marketplace competition concisely.  Given the significant expansion of the craft brewery industry, there is a constant influx of new challengers introducing innovative ideas or beverages.  Due to this ever-evolving landscape, it is vital to succinctly discuss the strategies your company will implement to assess and react to the emergence of new competitors in the market.

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Company Information and Location for a Craft Brewery Business.

In a craft brewery business plan, the company information section must illuminate and explore the advantages of the company’s chosen locale.  A craft brewery requires ample space not only for brewing operations but also for storage and customer seating to enjoy the brews.  Given that securing a prime location with sufficient space stands as a crucial concern for craft brewery proprietors, it is imperative to delve deeply into the positive aspects and strategic value of the brewery’s site.

Product Description  and Competitive Advantages for a Craft Brewery Business

The segment of the craft brewery business plan that covers product description and competitive advantages should hone in on distinct elements of the establishment.  Within the product description, it is crucial to delineate and spotlight the specific beers crafted on-site, detailing their unique characteristics.  Additionally, if a range of other beers is available, these should be addressed, explaining how they enhance or complement the in-house brews.  In the competitive advantages section, the distinctiveness of your craft beers should stand out as a primary asset.  Here, elaborate on how your brews will distinguish your establishment from local competitors.  Will it be through unique flavors, visual appeal, or focusing on low-calorie options?

Target Market for a Craft Brewery Business Plan

In a business plan crafted for a brewery, the delineation of the target market hinges upon the strategic direction and placement of the brewery itself.  Some breweries might aim their efforts at local residents with a penchant for high-quality, local brews that satisfy discerning tastes.  Alternatively, certain breweries might center their marketing strategies on nearby businesses and academic institutions.  Regardless of the chosen demographic, articulating and justifying the focus on a specific target market is integral to a comprehensive and effective brewery business plan and its corresponding template.

Industry Research for a Craft Brewery Business Plan

Conducting industry research for a craft brewery business plan necessitates beginning at the national scale.  Essential online resources include the Brewers Association, Master Brewers Association of America, and the Independent Craft Brewers Association.  In exploring these and additional resources, it is crucial to compile pivotal statistics related to the craft brewery sector and to pinpoint emerging trends within the industry.  Following this initial research phase, integrate the gathered data into your business plan and analyze your competitors.  This analysis should encompass local and regional competitors, particularly those whose operational models align with prevailing national trends.

Owner and Management Section of a Craft Brewery Business Plan

The section of a craft brewery business plan detailing the owner and management team should aim to answer why the individuals at the helm are suitably qualified to establish and oversee a craft brewery.  This goal can be achieved by chronicling previous professional experiences, any involvement in brewing endeavors, or in-depth research conducted in the field.  After establishing a solid rationale for leadership roles, this section should proceed to lay out the various job roles essential to the operation of the business.  Potential positions may encompass brewers, wait staff, bartenders, and members of the executive team.

Funding Request for a Craft Brewery Business Plan

Securing funds for a craft brewery typically entails significant financial commitment.  A craft brewery must not only find and secure a venue but also ensure sufficient space for the necessary brewing apparatus, storage, and a comfortable area for patrons to enjoy their beverages.  Given the substantial financial investment required, crafting a funding request within a craft brewery business plan should involve outlining specific financial categories related to the startup phase.

Such categories might encompass the required brewing machinery, furniture like tables and chairs, bar setups, interior decorations, and operational capital.  For each category, it is imperative to associate a monetary value.  However, it is advisable to avoid excessive detail within these categories.  For instance, it is unnecessary to itemize the stock of hops down to the ounce and assign a specific dollar value per unit.  Overloading on details can lead to confusion; hence, maintaining simplicity while delineating the required funding categories is key.

Financials for a Craft Brewery Business Plan.

When preparing the financial projections for a craft brewery business plan, commence with an estimation of your expected daily revenue.  Within these daily revenue calculations, it is crucial to categorize and itemize the sales from the craft brewery, food sales, and sales from other beer varieties.  Upon establishing this baseline, subtract the variable costs and the fixed monthly expenses, including lease payments, employee wages, and utility bills.  Accomplishing this will yield a preliminary monthly financial projection.

After this initial step, apply growth percentages to extend and project the profit and loss statements for the business over the next five years.  By adhering to this systematic approach, you will be in a position to craft a comprehensive assumptions page, serving to substantiate and lend credibility to your financial forecasts.

Hopefully, these insightful tips and tricks for writing a business plan were helpful.  As always, if you need help with a business plan or financial projections, send us an email or give us a call. 

Author: Paul Borosky, Doctoral Candidate, MBA., Author

Owner of: Quality Business Plan and Quality Business Consultant.

Date: 10/19/2023