The Business of Craft Beer with John Blichmann – BeerSmith Podcast #199

by Brad Smith on September 27, 2019 · 0 comments

John Blichmann joins me this week to discuss the business aspects of starting a small craft brewery.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (1:00:00)

  • This week I welcome John Blichmann, the President of Blichmann Engineering, producers of both home brewing and pro brewing equipment. John has helped hundreds of brewers start small breweries.
  • John shares a few words about some of the new activities at Blichmann Engineering.
  • We quickly get into the subject of pro brewing including the fundamental decision of whether the business would primarily sell from a tap room (at high margin) or via wholesalers/retailers.
  • We discuss the importance of picking a location.
  • John shares some of the complexities of running a tap room including setup, employees, atmosphere, and finally food.
  • We talk about some of the realities of complying with tax laws, payroll, accounting, and licenses.
  • John tells us why you need to build plenty of margin into your business plan for unexpected rennovations and costs.
  • We discuss equipment and how to size a brewery depending on your business model and location.
  • John talks briefly about financing your new business.
  • We discuss picking a lineup of beers to sell and the importance of brewing what your customers like as well as what you enjoy.
  • John explains some strategies for managing growth, and shares his closing thoughts.


Thanks to John Blichmann for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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