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Dec 15, 2017







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Craft Brewery Startup Workshop: The Business of Beer

When: Monday, Sept. 26, through Friday, Sept. 30, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Where: Various seacoast breweries 
Cost: $1,300
Visit: learn.unh.edu/brewing




Just getting started
Brewery workshop covers the business of beer

09/15/16
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 Those interested in opening their own brewery can get a comprehensive look at what it takes in a new, unique workshop offered by the University of New Hampshire later this month. The Craft Brewery Startup Workshop is an intensive five-day program taught by brewery owners and staff on site at eight seacoast breweries. 

The workshop was proposed by the director of professional development and training at UNH, Chris LaBelle, who had launched similar programs a few years ago at Oregon State University that were very popular and had students who went on to open successful breweries. 
“The intention is to provide participants with a greater awareness of what it takes to start a brewery and expose them to the full set of considerations,” LaBelle said. “I think many people don’t realize until they get experience or spend time with brewers or take a workshop like this that, yes, there’s the science to understand, but you have to know about the business side as well.”  
The program is geared toward people of all levels of experience and interest, including established brewers who want to deepen their knowledge of the business, hobbyists thinking about taking their passion to the next level, or young adults looking to get an internship or a foot in the door. 
Participants will be visiting Throwback Brewery, Redhook Brewery, 7th Settlement, Garrison City Beerworks, Smuttynose Brewing Co., Earth Eagle Brewing, Liars Bench Beer Co. and Tributary Brewing Co. in Kittery, Maine. 
“We wanted to cover the full spectrum of brewery types, so we have ones like Liar’s Bench which is just coming out of the nano phase and then ones like Redhook which is producing and distributing in high volume and then breweries in between,” LaBelle said. “It’s really a nice mix of resources.” 
A big part of the workshop will be hearing the brewery’s stories and experiences about what worked for them and what didn’t. Discussion and lecture topics will cover how to get started (writing a business plan, choosing a location, defining a style, constructing a facility), community engagement (obtaining permits, zoning, planning boards), finances (obtaining funding, startup costs, budgeting basics, etc.), legal issues (licensing, labeling, state and federal regulations, inspections, safety), internal affairs (staffing, training, payroll, insurance) and business strategies (branding, public relations, marketing tools, event planning, etc.). Students will have the opportunity to start developing a personalized business plan with guidance and feedback from brewery owners. 
There will also be more beer-focused topics like developing recipes, ingredients (purchasing, storing, disposing, water testing), brewing basics, beer packaging, on-site serving and running a tap room, distributing and beer analytics. Other speciality topics will include innovative brewing, starting a brew pub, food pairing and brewery collaborations. 
Students who are interested in learning more about starting a brewery after the workshop are encouraged to check out UNH’s new craft brewing minor program, which will be offered starting next year. 
“Being savvy about product quality … that’s the real driver of success and the piece I always hear brewers coming back to,” LaBelle said. “I think there are still opportunities in the market if you prioritize quality, are methodical and can find your unique place in the market.” 





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