If you love craft beer and have a good business head on your shoulders, you might be considering starting a brewery. You’ll need to come up with a solid business plan before you proceed with your venture.
But before you even do that, it’s imperative that you find out whether you possess all the necessary skills to launch a brewery and make it a success.
Here are just nine essential skills you’ll need.
1. Skills in Brewing Processes and Using Specialist Equipment
Before you even consider launching your own brewery, it’s essential that you become skilled in the brewing process and gain skillful knowledge about the equipment you’ll be using.
You’ll need to be skilled in using equipment like grain mills, mash tuns, heat exchangers, fermentation systems, brite tanks, cooling systems, refractometers and hydrometers, filtration systems, and more before you get started.
It’s a good idea to enroll in a brewing course and practice brewing with all the essential equipment before you decide to take things to the next level and begin your own brewery.
2. Skills in Production Methods and Logistics
A lot more skill is needed to operate a commercial brewery than to brew your own beer at home. You’ll need to be skillful in production methods and know how to handle logistics efficiently and effectively.
After all, besides the actual act of brewing, you’ll need to do things like bottle or can your beverages, create packaging and labels, and deal with suppliers, retailers, and customers.
3. Time Management Skills
To brew delicious drinks and ensure your production line runs smoothly, it’s vital that you have excellent time management skills.
From mashing and boiling, which greatly affect the character of a beer, to transferring your beer from one tank to another during the fermentation stage, which can ruin the beer if you do it wrong, time management is one of the most important skills you can possess.
You also need to have great time management skills for things like dealing with suppliers and promoting your business.
4. Observation Skills and Attention to Detail
During the brewing process, you need to possess excellent observation skills. To keep your production on time and ensure you follow your recipe exactly, it’s essential that you closely observe things like which valves are turned on and off and when the temperature reaches its optimum level.
Without excellent observation skills and a keen eye for detail, you could ruin your beer or not get it shipped out on time. As a startup, you can’t afford to make mistakes. So, don’t underestimate just how essential observation skills are.
5. Technical and Theoretical Skills
Not only do you need practical skills to start your own brewery. You also need to have technical skills and theoretical understanding.
The more skills you have in those areas, the more you can enhance the brewing process and quality assessment to make beers that stand a chance of competing with others on the market.
So, you should develop your technical and theoretical brewing skills before you launch your startup brewery.
6. Communication Skills
You can’t brew large quantities of beer all by yourself, so you must make sure that you have strong communication skills to work effectively with your team and produce beverages on time and in the right way.
Possessing strong communication skills is also essential for communicating with suppliers, contractors, retail outlets, customers, and everyone else in your supply chain.
Effective communicators always succeed in their businesses more than those who lack communication, listening, and interpersonal skills.
7. Branding Skills
Earlier, we briefly touched upon needing skills for things like developing packaging and labeling. Well, that ties into needing excellent branding skills.
You could be the best brewer in the world and have the greatest beer on the market. But if your branding is not on point, your startup won’t become the success that it could be.
Business skills are just as important as practical skills, and branding is an essential business skill that every business owner must have. You need to come up with a logo, a tagline, a company image, consistent imagery and colors, storytelling, and much more.
Sure, you can always outsource your branding requirements.
But you still need to have a good level of branding skills to determine whether the professional you use to design your branding has understood your business and created branding materials that suit your company identity and will get your products noticed in an increasingly crowded market space.
While branding is just one of the important considerations and steps for starting a brewery, it’s undoubtedly one of the most crucial.
8. Marketing Skills
Getting your branding right can certainly help you to market your products, but you’ll also need to possess strong marketing skills in various capacities to help your startup succeed and grow.
You’ll need to be able to identify what marketing approaches will best suit your business, such as using social media advertising, pay-per-click ads, and local billboards. You’ll also need to know how to identify your target audience, how to generate leads, and how to develop your USP.
Again, you can always outsource your marketing, but you still need to be in control of it, so it’s essential that you develop strong marketing skills yourself before you even write your business plan.
9. Budgeting Skills
A successful business owner knows how to stick to an effective budget and how to best spend money. Setting up a microbrewery usually costs between around $300,000 and $350,000, so it’s not an industry you want to enter into lightly.
You’ll need to possess basic business skills, at the very least, which include knowing how to create a workable budget and how to allocate your cash to the right areas in order to make your startup successful and take it to the next level.
But as long as you have such skills, and the other essential skills listed above, there’s no reason why you can’t make your brewery business a big success.