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Could you scale up your home brewing into a real business? Our infographic looks at the main steps involved in scaling up from home, to micro and commercial sized breweries.
Home brewing equipment will not handle commercially viable quantities, so you will more than likely need new kit. For example, you will probably have 1/2 or 3/4 hoses and camlock couplings, but you made need to scale these up to 1" for a microbrewery setup. You will also need to review your chilling system, fermenting vessels, Sankey storage keg and tri clamp adapters. Remember to start smaller and don't overspend on basic equipment, to learn about your most suitable fittings we are happy to advise.
Financial planning is vital. If you have a strong business plan that demonstrates you have a market, you could get a bank loan. However, remember to always check first for non-repayable grants such as locally targeted EU business funding, or 'green' initiatives.
You will be liable for taxes too, so factor them into your calculations. It's up to you to register with HMRC so don't be caught out. You'll also need to consider staffing costs, especially if you're starting a full-size brewery.
You will probably need to rent brewing space and storage facilities to start off with. New light industrial units are ideal, but there are UK microbreweries in everything from old stable buildings to disused shops. Look for good water supply and drains, and enough space for production. Renting temporary local storage facilities can also help with seasonal fluctuations in demand.
Once you are clear about your beverage's image and unique selling points, investigate local demand. Speak to freehouse landlords and don't forget to ask if they know other businesses you could also supply. The outcome will influence the size of your initial operation.
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