Two employees working in a brewery.

How To Start a Brewery: 9 Equipment Essentials

Brewing beer is an age-old profession that has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. Thanks to the rise of craft breweries, people are rediscovering the joys of small-batch, artisanal beer. If you’re thinking about starting your own brewery, you’re in for a treat. Not only is brewing beer a fun and rewarding process, but it can also be a lucrative business venture. Of course, before you can start serving up your own brews, you’ll need to acquire the proper equipment.

Let’s talk about the essential pieces of equipment you’ll need to start your own brewery.

Essential Brewery Equipment List

Congratulations on your decision to start a brewery! This is an exciting time, and there’s a lot to do in order to get your business off the ground. Here is a quick overview of some of the essential pieces of equipment you’ll need:

1. A brew kettle

This is where the magic happens! The brew kettle is where you’ll boil your wort before transferring it to the fermenter. It’s important to choose a brew kettle that’s large enough to accommodate your batch size. Pricing for a brew kettle ranges from $100 to $1,000, depending on the size and features.

2. A mash tun

The mash tun is where you’ll convert the starch in your grains into sugar. This is an important step in the brewing process, as sugar is what the yeast will feed on to produce alcohol. Mash tuns can either be insulated or uninsulated, and prices start at around $100.

3. A wort chiller

As the name implies, a wort chiller is used to cool your wort before pitching the yeast. This is important, as pitching yeast into hot wort can kill it and ruin your batch. Wort chillers range in price from $50 to $200.

4. A fermentation tank

The fermentation tank is where the magic really happens! This is where your beer will spend the majority of its time while it’s fermenting. Fermentation tanks come in various sizes, and you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,000 for one.

5. A bottling or kegging setup

Once your beer has finished fermenting, you’ll need a way to package and store it. This is where a bottling or kegging setup comes in handy. A basic bottling setup will cost you around $50, while a kegging setup will set you back about $250.

6. Cleaning and sanitizing supplies

Keeping your brewery clean and sanitary is of the utmost importance. You’ll need a good supply of cleaning and sanitizing products, which you can find at any brewing supply store. Prices for these supplies vary, but you can expect to spend around $50 per month on them.

7. Labels and packaging supplies

Once your beer is ready to be packaged, you’ll need labels and packaging supplies. You can find these supplies at any brewing supply store, and prices vary depending on the type of packaging you choose.

8. A website and social media accounts

In this day and age, it’s important to have a strong online presence for your brewery. You’ll need to create a website and social media accounts for your business, which will cost you some time and money upfront. However, once everything is set up, they shouldn’t cost you much to maintain.

9. Marketing materials

You’ll also need some marketing materials to promote your brewery. This can include things like flyers, posters, and business cards. Prices for marketing materials vary depending on the quality and quantity you need.

How Much Does It Cost To Start a Brewery?

The cost of starting a brewery can vary greatly, depending on the size and scope of your operation. However, you can expect to spend anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 on equipment and start-up costs. Of course, the more money you’re able to invest in your brewery, the better equipped it will be.

Buying vs Leasing Brewery Equipment

One of the big decisions you’ll need to make when starting a brewery is whether to buy or lease your equipment. There are pros and cons to both options, and it’s important to weigh them carefully before making a decision.

If you decide to buy your equipment, you’ll own it outright and won’t have to worry about making monthly payments. However, buying equipment can be expensive, and you may not have the upfront capital to do so.

If you decide to lease your equipment, you’ll have lower monthly payments but will ultimately end up paying more for the equipment in the long run. Leasing also allows you to upgrade your equipment as your business grows.

No matter which option you choose, make sure you do your research and select a reputable supplier.

Starting a Brewery: The Bottom Line

Starting a brewery can be a costly endeavor, but it can also be a very rewarding one. There are a lot of important decisions to make and factors to consider, but as long as you do your homework and plan carefully, you’re sure to succeed.

Charter Capital can help you finance the necessary equipment for your brewery. We offer a variety of leasing and financing options, so we’re sure to have a solution that’s right for you.

We are a family-owned business and have been providing equipment financing support to small business owners in multiple industries for over 40 years. We have a solid network of over 20 lenders, with whom we are confident you’ll find an ideal partner to start and grow your brewery business. Contact our team at Charter Capital today to learn more.