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(Globe and Mail)   Latest trend in craft beer: New, somewhat obscure "nanobreweries" which brew a few kegs at a time for a low upfront cost   (theglobeandmail.com) divider line 65
    More: Spiffy, craft beers, Brewers Association, pale ales, culinary fruits, microbreweries, Food & Wine, David Bowkett, Iowa State Fair  
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2607 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Nov 2012 at 11:11 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-27 09:22:17 PM  
I have a 1/3-barrel nanobrewery in my back yard.

Still trying to figure out the minimum cost of operating one commercially.
 
2012-11-27 09:58:30 PM  
I ran into this sort of thing in Montana where a onebrewery's dollar refillable mug was selling on E-bay for some ungodly sum.
 
Be careful about your initial promotions young enterprenuer and never EVER offer a lifetime of service at decade's old pricing.  There's a magazine that doesn't even SPEAK to me anymore because I got them in this situation.
 
2012-11-27 11:14:43 PM  
We have one of these in Cleveland. A bit underwhelming but will be interesting to see if they hit on anything via. experimentation.

nanobrewcleveland.com
 
2012-11-27 11:18:15 PM  
I'm going to start a femtobrewery, each pint will be brewed individually.
 
2012-11-27 11:19:33 PM  
Uncle Jesse's been there, done that.
 
2012-11-27 11:27:07 PM  
Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.
 
2012-11-27 11:27:42 PM  

talkertopc: I'm going to start a femtobrewery, each pint will be brewed individually.


This reminds me of the new coffee phenomenon, the "pour over".

One cup at a time.
 
2012-11-27 11:39:25 PM  

talkertopc: I'm going to start a femtobrewery, each pint will be brewed individually.


Attobrewery - each sip is custom brewed.
 
2012-11-27 11:43:31 PM  

Lando Lincoln: I have a 1/3-barrel nanobrewery in my back yard.


Wouldn't that be a femtobrewery?
 
2012-11-27 11:44:11 PM  

talkertopc: I'm going to start a femtobrewery, each pint will be brewed individually.


Darn it, someone beat me to it!

/heh
 
2012-11-27 11:44:34 PM  
Latest trend? Meh. Vine Park has been doing this in St. Paul for years.
 
2012-11-27 11:46:06 PM  
I know a number of brewers who started with 1-barrel systems. They move up as quickly as possible, because it takes almost as much work and time as brewing 4-7 barrels.
 
2012-11-27 11:46:14 PM  
Guess this means home brewing will now be labeled picobrewing.
 
2012-11-27 11:46:21 PM  

President Merkin Muffley: Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.


Nope, the nanno brewery thing started in the states. Depending on your locality, just get your brewers license and pay your taxes. You can be as big, or as small as you want.
 
2012-11-27 11:50:24 PM  
Portland has had a nanobeer fest for 5 years now.
 
2012-11-27 11:58:03 PM  

President Merkin Muffley: Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.


I wonder if you could have a co-op of "nanobrewers" in the US? I'd think you could still brew independently but deal with certifications, renting space, distribution, sales, and other non-fun aspects as a collective.
 
2012-11-27 11:59:08 PM  
Meh, so some of the better Ontario breweries do nano-level stuff in their one-offs. My local carries a lot of Durham County and Great Lakes. Before you get persnickety the Great Lakes one-offs are fantastic as opposed their their incredibly pedestrian regular brews.

Anyway, I'm not surprised that their one T.O. location mentioned was a bar, Get Well, that I'd never heard of before this but that was near Dundas And Ossington like Bellwoods brewery and Indie Beer House.

Of course I'll be going there.
 
2012-11-28 12:02:08 AM  
I wish brewing in a tiny apartment kitchen was less of a pain in the ass. Wifey got me a one gallon kit. Hard to justify the effort for a 12-pack.
 
2012-11-28 12:05:59 AM  
Ok, who else laughed out loud when the page loaded and the first thing you saw was a neckbearded hipster?
 
2012-11-28 12:08:33 AM  

Sherman Potter: Latest trend? Meh. Vine Park has been doing this in St. Paul for years.


Thiiiiis.
 
2012-11-28 12:09:17 AM  

MrEricSir: President Merkin Muffley: Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.

I wonder if you could have a co-op of "nanobrewers" in the US? I'd think you could still brew independently but deal with certifications, renting space, distribution, sales, and other non-fun aspects as a collective.


That's a great idea. It can slim down the start up cost but it won't touch the taxes. You don't pay taxes on sales of beer, you pay taxes when you transfer a barrel off site.

It's even worse for distilleries. My dream is to start a craft bourbon distillery. You pay taxes on distilled liquor before you've distilled it.

As I said, fark the ATF.
 
2012-11-28 12:42:00 AM  

talkertopc: I'm going to start a fermentobrewery, each pint will be brewed individually.

 
2012-11-28 12:57:45 AM  
A shame that this article takes two distinct brewing types, and lumps them together. A nano-brewery and a brew pub are not the same thing at all.

There are brew pubs in Ontario, but no nano-breweries, due to the cost of doing business with the AGO.

I don't want to run a pub, I just want to brew. I can brew 25 gallons at a go right now, and can easily do that twice a day. What I can't do is afford to pay the AGO tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege.
 
2012-11-28 12:59:03 AM  
I literally live next to a micro brewery that does daily unlimited samplings so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2012-11-28 01:04:50 AM  

Sherman Potter: Latest trend? Meh. Vine Park has been doing this in St. Paul for years.


I literally live 1 mile down the street from Vine Park so now I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2012-11-28 01:13:43 AM  

deansheen: We have one of these in Cleveland. A bit underwhelming but will be interesting to see if they hit on anything via. experimentation.

nanobrewcleveland.com


Were they selling Drew Carey's Buzz Beer?

/A Vonnegut family recipe
//Go read Timequake
///It is a biatchin' read
 
2012-11-28 01:31:06 AM  
I came here to drink, beer, and read.

/areyouabeerwizard.jpg
 
2012-11-28 01:31:54 AM  

President Merkin Muffley: Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.



Actually, it's the TTB these days. Also, nanobreweries are basically non-profit. You'll never break even on the beer alone.
 
2012-11-28 01:43:28 AM  
this was old in 1978

we call em shiners

this is effectively a repeat too!
 
2012-11-28 01:47:20 AM  

TofuTheAlmighty: talkertopc: I'm going to start a femtobrewery, each pint will be brewed individually.

Attobrewery - each sip is custom brewed.


Atta Brew would be a good name for a micro.
 
2012-11-28 01:52:46 AM  
Connecticut is generally near last in beer trends. Seeing that we have a handful of nanobreweries, you know this trend has existed for a while now.
 
2012-11-28 01:53:07 AM  

ohknaks: President Merkin Muffley: Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.


Actually, it's the TTB these days. Also, nanobreweries are basically non-profit. You'll never break even on the beer alone.


I've moved into hot sauce and away from beer. I still hold out hope that I can market a craft bourbon in 10 years,
 
2012-11-28 02:42:43 AM  
The nanobrewing thing is an interesting development, at least in Toronto. In order for it to continue to work, the people doing it basically have to accept that they're never going to make any real money at it. The level of dedication that you need in order to keep up that level of effort without the quality going downhill quickly is going to be problematic. I know Brad from Get Well a little and he seems like he'll be fine, but at some point a talented brewer is going to want a larger system.
 
2012-11-28 03:05:01 AM  
Buddy of mine brews the occasional batch of mead, which is somewhat similar, I suppose?
 
2012-11-28 03:24:57 AM  
So basically half the breweries in Portland.
 
2012-11-28 05:03:39 AM  

germ78: TofuTheAlmighty: talkertopc: I'm going to start a femtobrewery, each pint will be brewed individually.

Attobrewery - each sip is custom brewed.

Atta Brew would be a good name for a micro.


Except for the whole911reports.files.wordpress.comthing.
 
2012-11-28 05:27:19 AM  
It's a microbrew from Canada. You probably never heard of it.
 
2012-11-28 06:22:37 AM  
One of the things that really gets me since I've moved to Australia is that despite the reputation the country has of being filled with total piss heads, it's incredibly difficult and expensive to get the proper licenses needed to serve or sell beer.

The stupid thing is that I actually have the skill and the finances to bankroll it, but I just don't have the bloody patience to jump through all the hoops necessary to commercially sell my brew. I'm actually fairly certain that part of the reason why everything is set up the way it is the same reason why many other industries have onerous licensing requirements - to keep new people out of markets and to protect established industries.

Anyway, for the time being I am exploring just piggybacking on a established premises existing license - however, the excise tax part of the equation is still a pain in the ass due to the requirements that need to be met for ensure that the feds get their proper cut. They literally want you to get them hard, lube them up, bend over, and guide them to the ass farking they want to give you over taxes.

I know, I cry, I cry...
 
2012-11-28 07:18:02 AM  

Ted Kennedy's Brain Tumor: Buddy of mine brews the occasional batch of mead, which is somewhat similar, I suppose?


No, mead is actually nothing like beer. It's more like wine. It's also pretty nasty about 95% of the time. That rare 5% is pretty good however.
 
2012-11-28 08:46:33 AM  

TwistedFark: Ted Kennedy's Brain Tumor: Buddy of mine brews the occasional batch of mead, which is somewhat similar, I suppose?

No, mead is actually nothing like beer. It's more like wine. It's also pretty nasty about 95% of the time. That rare 5% is pretty good however.


I've been told mead needs to bottle age.
 
2012-11-28 09:35:21 AM  
I'm thinking the brewing gold rush is long over, so if you're thinking of quitting your job to open your own brewery because it's your "life's passion", your business plan had better include "winning the lottery".
 
2012-11-28 10:20:41 AM  
beta.images.theglobeandmail.com
Hipster Hoser? Moi? 
 
2012-11-28 11:01:01 AM  
It would be nice if they changed the law in the US so semi-pro breweries could operate. Would be nice if I could sell kegs to the local bars or sell 6-packs to anyone who wants them. Certainly we'd see more interesting things at the bar than we do now. People sometimes ask me if I want to take my homebrew operation pro and the answer is oh, hell no. I'd probably rethink that if I could do it on a smaller scale.
 
2012-11-28 11:18:37 AM  

WhippingBoy: I'm thinking the brewing gold rush is long over, so if you're thinking of quitting your job to open your own brewery because it's your "life's passion", your business plan had better include "winning the lottery".


I would say the gold rush is very much still ongoing. There are five more small breweries opening up in my town alone.
Now, weather or not the market can sustain all that growth is yet to be seen. They could very well be diluting thier own market.
I don't think its more of a better have lots of money thing. With enough capital, any one can start brewing. But you better know what you are doing, be able to put out a quality product. If you are in it to capatalise on a growing market and get rich? Don't even bother.
 
2012-11-28 12:47:39 PM  
And the award for worst co-opting of the term nano goes to...
 
2012-11-28 01:00:09 PM  
There are a couple nano-breweries in Chicago. It's all about the proper marketing of the product to the right crowd. Keep the beers good, keep them limited and people will usually pay more than usual for the product. Kickstarter has been responsible for the funding of more than one...


/I still haven't received my backer rewards you bastards!
 
2012-11-28 02:03:53 PM  

WhippingBoy: I'm thinking the brewing gold rush is long over, so if you're thinking of quitting your job to open your own brewery because it's your "life's passion", your business plan had better include "winning the lottery".


Maybe, maybe not - while the market is tight there is always new areas for smart breweries. Dogfish Head was founded partly by buying up the equipment of failed microbreweries and making a better product.

Then again, the hipster foodie trend is now micro-distilling, which is more expensive and a bit more difficult to break into. Most beers take a month or two to produce, while whisky/bourbon, etc. can take years.
 
2012-11-28 02:15:10 PM  
Meh. I was interested in their beer till i saw the picture of the douche who makes it.
 
2012-11-28 02:28:52 PM  
I don't care what the brewer looks like as long as the beer is delicious.
 
2012-11-28 02:46:37 PM  

MrEricSir: President Merkin Muffley: Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.

I wonder if you could have a co-op of "nanobrewers" in the US? I'd think you could still brew independently but deal with certifications, renting space, distribution, sales, and other non-fun aspects as a collective.


I don't know about other states, but in California you would do this as an "alternating proprietorship." Each brewer maintains their own Type 23 ABC license and whenever they use the brewhouse the ownership of the location is turned over to them for the day.

Something like that, anyhow...
 
2012-11-28 03:05:48 PM  

President Merkin Muffley: MrEricSir: President Merkin Muffley: Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.

I wonder if you could have a co-op of "nanobrewers" in the US? I'd think you could still brew independently but deal with certifications, renting space, distribution, sales, and other non-fun aspects as a collective.

That's a great idea. It can slim down the start up cost but it won't touch the taxes. You don't pay taxes on sales of beer, you pay taxes when you transfer a barrel off site.

It's even worse for distilleries. My dream is to start a craft bourbon distillery. You pay taxes on distilled liquor before you've distilled it.

As I said, fark the ATF.


There's several out there. Except fark bourbon. As they described it to me at Corsair: The distillate for Bourbon is like napalm. It's almost jellied, and at 200 degrees, it hits your skin and takes a chunk out of you. Make your whiskey out of something else. At Corsair, I had a Quinoa whiskey. It was really damn delicious.
 
2012-11-28 03:46:06 PM  
This is the one down the road from me.

Pricey, but damned good beer.
 
2012-11-28 03:47:15 PM  

LonghornRob: I don't care what the brewer looks like as long as the beer is delicious.


I'm sure beard lice would tarnish the flavor of the beer a bit.
 
rka
2012-11-28 03:55:43 PM  

President Merkin Muffley: Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.


What are you talking about?

One of the most famous breweries in the United States, Dogfish Head, started as a 10 gallon nanobrewery.

Here's a list of current/upcoming nanos

http://hessbrewing.blogspot.com/2009/11/nanobreweries-in-usa.html
 
2012-11-28 04:02:45 PM  

rka: Here's a list of current/upcoming nanos

http://hessbrewing.blogspot.com/2009/11/nanobreweries-in-usa.html


Baying Hounds in on the list. It's been up and running a while in Rockville, MD. I tried it and it's total shiat. The place is a total pig sty with dirt and flies everywhere, and all the beer, no matter what flavor the brewer claims it is all tastes like sour crap that went bad. But for some reason people pull up to fill their growlers full of the foul stuff.
 
rka
2012-11-28 04:07:55 PM  
Well, I can't vouch for how good any are, but the original thought that there aren't any nanobreweries in the US due to the ATF is just absurd.
 
2012-11-28 05:29:36 PM  
I know one of these a few towns over. The town isn't big enough to support an actual microbrewery, so instead, it's a few guys who have a tin shed and some brewing gear putting out enough to keep 22 oz bottles in a gas station and a few kegs in the local bar. They run up enough overstock to take it to the downtown festival once a year and do enough bottling to send it to a couple of the area high-end liquor stores (the wine shops and bistros and the like).

That's the sort of brewery I'd like to see more of, where there's a local guy who makes one or two really good beers and makes enough to keep one or two taps alive at one or two bars. Like the custom recipe "house special" item on the menu, you could have a custom recipe "house special" beer on tap. Making it easier for more places to do that is a good idea.
 
2012-11-28 06:32:03 PM  

rka: President Merkin Muffley: Ya, in Canada.

Don't bother trying this in the states, thanks, ATF.

What are you talking about?

One of the most famous breweries in the United States, Dogfish Head, started as a 10 gallon nanobrewery.

Here's a list of current/upcoming nanos

http://hessbrewing.blogspot.com/2009/11/nanobreweries-in-usa.html


Sam is a good guy. I hung out with him at McSeagulls in Boothbay once. As I recall it was a 12 gallon and it nearly killed him. My point is that unless you've got a lot of cash to burn getting off the ground, it's very difficult to get started.
 
2012-11-29 06:25:24 AM  
I can do 11 gallons at a time. Am I a nano, pico or femto?
 
2012-11-29 07:15:51 AM  

TwistedFark: One of the things that really gets me since I've moved to Australia is that despite the reputation the country has of being filled with total piss heads, it's incredibly difficult and expensive to get the proper licenses needed to serve or sell beer.

The stupid thing is that I actually have the skill and the finances to bankroll it, but I just don't have the bloody patience to jump through all the hoops necessary to commercially sell my brew. I'm actually fairly certain that part of the reason why everything is set up the way it is the same reason why many other industries have onerous licensing requirements - to keep new people out of markets and to protect established industries.



Foster's: it's Australian for battery acid.



/worst beer evar
 
2012-11-29 07:41:18 AM  
Introducing the all new Pico Brewery.

In the morning, take a large glass, fill it with water, add a packet of bread yeast, two packets of table sugar and two tablespoons of raw oatmeal. Leave glass uncovered on kitchen counter.

Consume that evening.

If you like a witbier, add a packet of non-dairy creamer.

/DO NOT DO ANY OF THIS.
 
2012-11-29 08:17:49 AM  

Kwai Lo: There are brew pubs in Ontario, but no nano-breweries, due to the cost of doing business with the AGO.


That would be in correct. I am pretty sure there is at least one in Toronto. And the Beyond the Pale brewery in Ottawa that is opening this week is most certainly a nano-brewery.
 
2012-11-29 08:26:33 AM  

Saints_Gambit: The nanobrewing thing is an interesting development, at least in Toronto. In order for it to continue to work, the people doing it basically have to accept that they're never going to make any real money at it. The level of dedication that you need in order to keep up that level of effort without the quality going downhill quickly is going to be problematic. I know Brad from Get Well a little and he seems like he'll be fine, but at some point a talented brewer is going to want a larger system.


That's what I keep thinking everytime I read about nano-breweries. I mean it has to be a tough business to be in. I mean based on the competition, you would basically have to sell your kegs for around the same price as other more traditional micro-breweries. But since you have a smaller production capacity your cost per keg would be significantly higher. I mean you would be buying less malt at a time, so the cost savings due to buying in bulk lower. Plus like others have posted the time it takes to brew a batch of beer on a smaller system, is not that far off the time it takes to brew on a bigger system, so your labour costs per litre of beer are higher. Plus to use the one that is opening up in ottawa as an example, they are not bottling anything (just kegs and growlers) so they set up in a commercial area to try and get a bunch of walk-in trafffic. But rent on a commercial space would be higher than just renting a space in an industrial park somewhere.

Plus your storage space would be super limited. I think the one in ottawa has a space that is 1000-1500 square feet. So you really can't afford to waste space. So once those fermentors are empty you pretty have to have beer ready to fill them up again (otherwise you are basically paying rent on unused space. And once you empty them you better have a bunch of that beer ready to go out to accounts very soon, since you just don't have the space to store a ton of filled kegs.
 
2012-11-29 10:21:56 AM  

Pick: I can do 11 gallons at a time. Am I a nano, pico or femto?


Zeptobrewery. Perhaps a yoctobrewery, if you brewed each ethanol molecule individually.

/A proton weighs 1.67 yoctograms
//TMYK
 
2012-11-29 09:18:12 PM  
THere's a nano-brew around the corner from me; their bottled fare has way too much carbonic acid. Like, my one-gallon homebrew had less than theirs (and it had too much for my tastes).

Guys, if you can't get that right... you have no business selling beer!


/doesn't mind brewing beer... mashing in, hot break, sparging, blah blah blah is kinda fun. Bottling is a stupid PITA and I hate it.
//recycled my swing-tops
 
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