One of the questions we get most is: “Where are you in the process of opening?”
What we always appreciate about this question is the word: “process”.
When it comes to the brewing industry (or wine, or distilling I suppose), it is indeed a process to open. Acquiring the necessary licenses which permit the production and sale of alcohol are involved to say the least; even if you get the extensive requirements of the paperwork right the first time you submit them, there is nothing fast about it, and no telling how long it may take.
However, in our minds, the fact that this process is so specific has actually made the road to opening very clear. We’re not sure if you’d hear other brewery startups state this…? We’ve found that once you accept that this process is, well, what it is, all that’s required is to start down the road and to keep moving till you get there (again, easier said than done, we know.)
The best way to explain the road is to start at the end, and work your way back:
To open a brewery, you need licenses.
To get your federal brewing licenses, you need to have a location secured to make your beer.
To secure a location, you need money.
To get money, you need to know how much to ask for; which is to say, you need a plan.
And, to create a plan, you really need lots of things. You need to know that your beer is good, and not just good, but good enough that people will buy it over other good beers. You need to know how many people will think your beer is good. This is not an easy figure to come by. And, you really need to know why it is that your beer needs to exist, what purpose you serve by bringing your beer to the world.
And so, we’ve been working on this plan over the last six months or so. The thing we really loved doing was bringing our beer prototypes to friends, and family, and local bar owners and sharing visions about Buffalo and its place in the craft beer scene, and then having those people give us feedback about our beer. And, overwhelmingly, the feedback was positive. Our beer is good. And it does need to exist. And not just anywhere; we’ve said many times that the only place we would ever want to do this is right here in Buffalo.
We are very proud of our business plan. But… we also realize that it’s only a plan. And so, we’re now spending even more time trying to get our name out there, and have even more folks try our beer, so that we might find some business partners who can help us turn what began as a dream, and became a plan, into reality.
If you’re reading this and want to share in this dream, give us a shout, and we promise to share a beer with you… somewhere further down the road.