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INTRO Brewing up a business

Colibri

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Feb 24, 2018
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Hello Fastlaners,

The title, which I borrowed from a book by Dogfish Head Brewery founder, says it all: I brew beer for a living. I make it, I taste it (the least lucrative yet best part of the job), I sell it, I buy other brewers’ beers as well and retail them at the shop. They say it is every man’s dream to own a bar - well, at 26 I run a beer shop and a microbrewery, close enough?

There’s a growing market here in France, microbreweries and craft beer bars keep popping up everywhere and the public reacts positively. It is clearly a trend, and I would like to expand my brand later on via franchising.

I read TMF a few months ago, it blew my mind. I had been a committed reader of business and personal finances books for years (Rich Dad Poor Dad, The 4-Hour Workweek, Personal MBA…), but TMF is a game-changer in so many ways. So I went on and read Unscripted, which I liked even more because to me it is like TMF with a broader perspective on life. Congrats on those masterpieces @MJ DeMarco!

Also, I’d like to thank @ApeRunner for making this great TUNEF infographic that is now hanging on my wall. Great effort, thanks for sharing it with us! For those who missed it, it is available here: Book - The UNSCRIPTED Entrepreneurial Framework, TUNEF (Infographic)

After almost 2 years of running the business, it is obvious to me that I will not gain wealth and financial freedom by selling a few thousand of bottles per month, the profit on each being quite low. That might work when I’ll own a warehouse and sell huge quantities around the world, but for now my place is still small.

So my focus right now it to expand the line of offerings to include more high-margin products: beer tastings and classes, brew-your-own sessions, tap system rentals, online content for beer certifications…

Beside that, my significant other just got a job after countless years of studies. She’s been at it for two months, she already hates it and it isn’t even well-paid. She starts to understand all the benefits of entrepreneurship and real estate investing. So we plan on investing together and start a small venture on the side, but this is still in the idea phase.

Anyway, I’m happy to be a member of this community, and look forward chatting with you guys. I have been getting MASSIVE VALUE from this forum after just a few weeks of membership. I do not take this for granted and it is my intention to give back. May business be good for us all!
 

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Kid

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Welcome Colibri!

I'm not your target market but could you make course and/or website about making own microbrewery?

Just a thing to consider
 

Scot

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You just became my favorite new member haha.

You should take a look at what InBev is doing over here in the states. They’re either buying majority stakes in craft breweries or buying the distribution rights. They are the biggest distributor in the country (world?)

Because craft brewing is becoming bigger in France, why not set yourself up as the distributor for those local breweries?

Have them sell to you below wholesale, buy a couple vans, and distribute their beers to other stores, bars, and restaurants. It’s small margins, but with scale, you could make a decent amount of business.

Looking forward to seeing you around.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Welcome aboard! A brewer!?! Yea, you'll work out just great around here! ;)
 

ApeRunner

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Colibri

Colibri

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 24, 2018
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French Riviera
I'm not your target market but could you make course and/or website about making own microbrewery?
Indeed @Kid , that will be part of the classes and online certifications. Where did you get this idea from? Do you have successful examples where you live?
You should take a look at what InBev is doing over here in the states.

Because craft brewing is becoming bigger in France, why not set yourself up as the distributor for those local breweries?
Thanks for your input @Scot . ABInBev is the enemy, craft breweries unite! :D
BTW, I forgot to mention that I'm not alone in the business. I have a business partner, he's from the US but has been living down here for a while.

Yes, we already started this process of distributing local beers. However, most breweries are still so small at the moment that they can't produce enough for me to distribute them appropriately.
Welcome aboard! A brewer!?! Yea, you'll work out just great around here!
If I could brew a digital beer, I would gladly share some for a FLF happy hour :)
Great to hear that my infographic has helped you in some way. It's hanging on my wall also. But in the end, it's just the intellectual work of @MJ DeMarco
True, but you packaged it with your own perspective of it and that is just great.

Thank you all for the warm welcome!
 

Kid

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Indeed @Kid , that will be part of the classes and online certifications. Where did you get this idea from? Do you have successful examples where you live?
I've read that craft beer market is growing in many countries. It seems like a good opportunity for something like course, classes or a book.

Especially if you can provide first hand experience that others might lack.
 

JAJT

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I was a homebrewer myself for about 4 years (brewed about 200 gallons in my final year). Never opened a brewery but I did win a few medals in the process for the beer I made, which was very rewarding :)

I looked very seriously into opening a brewery (also read the dogfishhead book you mentioned) and came to this same conclusion:

It is obvious to me that I will not gain wealth and financial freedom by selling a few thousand of bottles per month, the profit on each being quite low.
Yup.

From most of the research I've done, it seems like opening a brewery is the best way to buy yourself an "okay" paying 80+ hour per week job. No thanks :)

Ended up getting out of brewing late last year to focus more on health and productivity but I do miss it so.

Welcome to the forum!
 

Cat Lady

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I'm posting to follow! I don't drink, but I'm really interested in fastlane business journeys in niches that tend to be filled by "passion businesses" (I know a lot of barely profitable microbreweries, bike shops, and vintage clothing stores.) So congrats on being part of the forum and I'm interested to follow your progress!
 
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Colibri

Colibri

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 24, 2018
26
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25
French Riviera
I've read that craft beer market is growing in many countries. It seems like a good opportunity for something like course, classes or a book.
It might be a good idea to write a book about it, yes. That would help to gain authority and bring traffic.
From most of the research I've done, it seems like opening a brewery is the best way to buy yourself an "okay" paying 80+ hour per week job.
That is exactly the path my company is following, and I intend to delegate the time-consuming part of the business as soon as possible to focus on high-value-added activities.
BREWDOG in the UK [...]
Fastlane is certainly possible as their success story shows
Agreed, those guys came about in the market at the right moment. They have been growing like crazy thanks to the cutting-edge quality of their products, ingenious marketing and a will to change the status quo about beer.

If you guys have any recommendation for content about how to create a strong brand identity, I'm in!
So congrats on being part of the forum and I'm interested to follow your progress!
Thanks! This venture is actually not passion-driven. Don't get me wrong, I love beer, but I got into this business because of the growing market and the opportunities it is creating.
 

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Colibri

Colibri

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 24, 2018
26
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25
French Riviera
One idea currently in my mind is this one: most microbrewers here sell their beers either in bottles or kegs. Nowadays people hate cans because of the image it conveys (metallic taste, homeless guy in the street, etc.). But the trend is starting to change and cans are getting popular. I foresee that cans will be used at least for 30% of the production in the next 5 years.

The problem: canning machines are expensive and/or too big for most microbreweries.
The solution: I would buy a truck and have canning equipment inside. I would go from breweries to breweries and package their product.

Those brewers save the investment and experience the benefits of cans:
- more creative labels
- cheaper shipping because cans are lighter than bottles
- they go "green" because cans can be 100% recycled
- their beer tastes closer to what they intend since cans protect better from light, warmth, etc.

This mobile canner could be tested throughout the region, and then if successful I would get multiples trucks.

The business model is still to be defined with precision, but it could be that brewers would pay a fixed price according to the size of their production, plus the cans themselves (cost of production + margin).

The challenges of this idea are mostly that it requires a great initial investment, and also that the trucks might need a lot of maintenance.
 
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Kid

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The problem: canning machines are expensive and/or too big for most microbreweries.
The solution: I would buy a truck and have canning equipment inside. I would go from breweries to breweries and package their product.
That would be your best bet. Not sure if i read or seen yt video but it was exactly about this business model in USA.

Maybe you could even bring equipment from there.

If there is no competition for canning trucks in your country then you might be onto something.
 

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