A new model for controlling costs when opening a brewery
Opening a new brewery can be a ginormous expense, but it doesn't have to be. In this video, Ed of Lake Martin Brewing in Alabama discusses how he controlled costs and minimized expenses when opening his nano brewery/brewpub.
00:50 Serving great beer while controlling costs
02:00 Fresh beer, frequent brew cycles, and served right from the fermenter
02:22 The simplified brewing approach
03:23 Why choose the BREHWA BIAC
04:19 The best thing about owning a brewery
Being a bed and breakfast owner, my wife and I had discovered the needs of our community; a restaurant being one, a community gathering place being another, and the craft brewery just kind of fit that need of bringing community together, whether it be kids, pets, families and friends, and just a place to go relax and have a good time.
And so we bought an old post office in the heart of historic downtown Alexander City, and that's the home of Lake Martin Brewing.
There's so much more to bear than what we grew up around and what was there. Being a business traveler, I seek breweries. And after visiting hundreds and hundreds of breweries, I am just fascinated by the artisanship, the craftsmanship that goes into this and what is capable.
When you're trying to build a nano brewery, you really have to be in tune to your cost across the board. And so for us, it was building a model that was sustainable, that was cost effective.
Could we bring great beer, minimizing the impact of our cost to be able to do that? And as we evaluated it to different options, the BIAC system just stood out above everyone else, the simplified brewing approach.
Well, we knew our constraints within our size and our footprint, but the bigger part to me was how do we get into small scale brewing? How can we brew and act like a bigger brewery than what we really are?
And how can we do that with minimum manpower? The clear obvious choice was the BREWHA BIAC system.
So we chose the, the BIAC Large—our beer starts in that vessel and is served out of that vessel. That is a unique approach. The byproduct is much less cleaning for us. We've almost completely eliminated that, right? We're able to roll our fermenters in out of the cooler, clean it, have it turned over in 20, 30 minutes and brewing again.
So our idea is to bring small batch and to bring fresh beer, in a more frequent brewing cycle, but reduce our manpower.
And so when you think about opening up a brewery, you think it has to be this ginormous, expensive proposition, and it can be if, if you're not in tune to what's occurring.
So we knew that we could do a lot with less. The cool thing when you standardize on a system is things are interchangeable. We can reuse the heating elements and use the grain baskets.
So the BREWHA BIAC gave us ability to simplify our operations. It gave us the ability to start at a certain footprint, grow our operations with minimum additions to our equipment.
There is no kegging operation. We don't have kegs to hookup. It's really designing that cold room around the size of your fermenters to accommodate the number of beers that you want.
We converted the original safe to be our beer cooler. This is an old 1936 post office. Eisenhower had a government program designed to build these, and they did a great job. These things are built like a fortress. It's 12 inch concrete all the way around this thing. The floors are 12 inches. So we knew we had a decent footprint. We knew we had a structure that could support weight. We just had to get it insulated.
Coming from the brewing room to the cooler was only just a few feet. So it's just a matter of rolling something to the cooler and connect it to our tap system.
So designing the cooling room to connect the fermenters really allows us to simplify our systems.
So why did I choose the BREWHA BIAC system? Well, we talked about its simplicity, but it, it is so much more than that.
The byproduct is the support that you get after the sale. BREWHA as a company has been absolutely spectacular at answering questions that we need. Guiding us through this journey, the efforts, the research and development BREWHA put in place for us as consumers or as business owners to be able to brew commercially, to be able to make people happy.
Uh, it's just a testament to BREWHA as a company and really gives us as individual business owners the confidence to know that we can do this beyond the equipment and after the sale and guiding us through, you know, when we have questions, we wouldn't have gotten that anywhere else.
The best thing about owning a brewery is seeing people's smiles. Whether they're just sitting at the bar, whether they're engaging with their family, you see the smile on their face and the appreciation that it's something they don't get every day here.
It didn't exist here. And now they get exposed to this whole new world of beer and they get to try different things and they get to learn things about themselves.
I generally enjoy just seeing satisfaction on people's face.
So we are really trying to bring this old school craftmanship to the heart of a historical downtown in the South. We're very fortunate enough to be able to do that.