Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (2023)

Starting a brewery business plan? Let us help you get started with your business planning and unlock your potential to build a successful business.

Over the past twenty years, we have helped more than 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their breweries. On this page we first give you some background information about the importance of business planning. Next, we'll take you through a brewery business plan step-by-step so you can start building your plan today.

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides an overview of the current status of your brewery or microbrewery and outlines your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business objectives and your strategy for achieving them. This includes market research to support your plans.

Why you need a business plan

Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (1)If you are starting a brewery or want to expand your existing brewery, you need a business plan. With a business plan, you can obtain financing if needed and plan the growth of your brewery to increase your chances of success. Your brewery business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your brewery business grows and changes.

Source of financing for breweries

In terms of financing, bank loans and angel investors are the main safe sources of financing for a brewery.


Banks want to review your business plan and make sure you can repay your loan and interest. To gain that trust, the loan officer not only wants to confirm that your finances are reasonable, but also wants to see a professional plan. Such a plan gives them the confidence that you can run a business successfully and professionally.

Angel Investor* in

The second most common form of secure financing for a brewery is angel investors. Angel investors are high net worth individuals who write you a check. They either take equity in exchange for their financing or, like a bank, they give you a loan. Venture capitalists generally will not finance a brewery. Private equity investors would consider financing a brewery or microbrewery business plan if it has already reached a significant size.

Example of creative financing

Liam Mulhall, CEO of Blowfly Beer, built up a customer base before even a single drop of booze was brewed. He used the internet to involve customers in the design process and give them the chance to vote on everything from label design to ingredients. In the process, he built a loyal following of over 10,000 customers before even starting the business. In addition to selling Blowfly beer, Mulhall also sold these customers stock in his company - every time they bought a case!

Blowfly's innovative strategy had other benefits as well. Because of the unique offering, they built a distribution base of highly loyal customers and their advertising costs were virtually zero. Through word of mouth, they managed to grow their registered customer base from an initial 140 people (friends of the founders) to over 10,000. These customer owners ultimately received dividends based on beer sales. This created an extra incentive to buy, drink and recommend Blowfly to friends.

If you want to complete your brewery business plan quickly and easily,Download our proven business plan template here.

How do you write a business plan for a brewery?

All business plans must include the following 10 sections:


Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (2)Your executive summary is an introduction to your business plan, but it is usually the last part you write because it summarizes all the important parts of your plan.

The purpose of your summary is to engage the reader quickly. Explain to them the type of brewery you run and its status; For example, are you a startup, do you have a craft brewery that you would like to grow or do you run a chain of breweries?

Then outline each subsequent part of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the craft brewing industry. Describe your direct competitors. Provide an overview of your target audience. Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy and plan. Identify the key members of your team. And outline your financial plan.

business analysis

Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (3)In your business analysis, you specify in detail which type of brewery you operate.

For example, you can operate one of the following six types of core breweries:

  1. Microbrewery: This is a brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year and sells 75% or more of its beer off-site.
  2. Nanobrewery: A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year
  3. Brewpub: This is a restaurant-brewery combination that sells 25% or more of its beer on site and offers food service
  4. Taproom Brewery: which sells 25% or more of its beer on site, but does not offer catering
  5. Regional Brewery: A brewery with an annual beer production between 15,000 and 6,000,000 barrels
  6. Contract Brewing Company: A company that contracts with another brewery to produce its beer

The Business Analysis section of your business plan should not only explain the type of brewery you operate, but also background information about the business.

Provide answers to questions such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved so far? Milestones can be sales goals you achieved, new openings, etc.
  • your business structure. Were you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

industry analysis

Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (4)In your sector analysis, you should provide an overview of the brewing activities.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves several purposes.

First, you will be educated by researching the brewing industry. It helps you gain insight into the market you are in.

Second, market research can improve your strategy, especially if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there is a trend to consume lighter beers, it would help to make sure your plan includes a variety of lighter beers.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. Doing the research and presenting it in your plan will accomplish just that.

The following questions should be answered in the Industry Analysis section of your brewery business plan:

  • How big is the brewery activity (in dollars)?
  • Is the market shrinking or growing?
  • Who are the main competitors in the market?
  • Who are the main suppliers in the market?
  • Which trends influence the sector?
  • What are the growth expectations for the sector in the next five to ten years?
  • What is the relevant market size? How big is the potential market for your brewery? You can extrapolate such a number by estimating the size of the market across the country and then applying that number to your local or regional population.


Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (5)In the Customer Analysis section of your brewery business plan, you should list the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

Examples of customer segments are: students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, baby boomers, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segments you choose have a huge impact on the type of brewery you operate. Of course, baby boomers want a different atmosphere, prices, product options, and respond to different marketing promotions than college students.

Try to split your target audience into demographic and psychographic profiles. With regard to demographics, including a discussion of the age, gender, location, and income level of the customers you intend to serve. Since most breweries mainly serve customers who live in the same city, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wishes and needs of your target group. The better you understand and define these needs, the better you can attract and retain your customers.

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competitive analysis

Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (6)Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your company faces and then focus on the latter.

In terms of direct competition, you want to detail the other breweries you compete with. Most likely, your competitors will be other breweries and brewpubs in your area.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers must purchase from you that do not belong to the same target market or industry, but may offer similar products or services. This mainly includes restaurants (for breweries) and other products (liquor, wine) for microbreweries. You should mention this competition to show that not everyone who drinks alcohol visits a brewery.

For each of these competitors, provide an overview of their business and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you have even worked at your competitors' companies, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out important things about them, such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What products do they offer?
  • What are their prices (Premium, Low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are your weaknesses?

For the last two questions, think about your answers from the customer's perspective.

The last part of your competitive analysis section is to document your competitive advantage areas. For example:

  • Do you offer premium brewing products or services?
  • Do you offer brewery products that your competitors don't?
  • Do you provide better customer service?
  • Do you offer better prices?

Think about how you can outperform your competition and document it in this section of your plan.

Marketing plan

Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (7)Traditionally, this component includes the four Ps: product, price, location and promotion. In a brewery business plan, you should include:


In the product section, again state the type of brewery you documented in your business analysis. Then explain which specific products you will be offering. For example, do you brew IPAs, pilsners, stouts, etc.?


Document the prices you offer and how they compare to those of your competitors. Essentially, in the Product and Price subsections, you introduce the menu items you offer and their prices.


Location refers to the location of your brewery. Document your location and mention how location affects your success. For example, is your brewery located next to a densely populated office building, gym, etc.? Discuss how your location can ensure a steady stream of customers. If you operate or plan to operate kiosks, please also specify the locations where the kiosks will be located.


The last part of your brewery marketing plan is the promotion part. Here you document how to bring customers to your locations. Below are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Make your brewery store attractive to attract passing customers
  • Establish a web presence
  • Social media marketing
  • Event marketing
  • Advertise in local newspapers and magazines
  • Contact local bloggers and websites
  • Local radio advertising
  • Banner advertising in local locations

Operation plan

Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (8)While the previous parts of your business plan outlined your objectives, your operational plan describes how you will achieve them. Your operational plan should consist of two separate parts as follows.

Everyday short-term processesinclude all tasks related to the operation of your brewery, such as B. Brewing beer, serving customers, getting supplies, keeping the shop clean, etc.

long-term goalsare the milestones you want to achieve. These could be the dates you expect to receive your x.000. Customers you will serve or from whom you hope to generate revenue. This could also be the case if you plan to hire your Xth employee or enter new markets.

Leadership team

Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (9)To demonstrate that your brewery can be successful as a business, a strong management team is essential. Emphasize the background of your key players and highlight the skills and experiences that demonstrate their ability to build a brewery business.

Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in the brewing industry. If so, highlight that experience and expertise. But also highlight any experiences that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider putting together an advisory board. An advisory board would consist of 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your company. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If necessary, seek advisory board members with brewing experience and/or successful retail and small business leadership.

financial plan

Microbrewery Business Plan Template and Guide [Updated 2023] (10)Your financial plan should include your five-year financial report, which is broken out monthly or quarterly for the first year and annually thereafter. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows.

Profit and loss account

An income statement is commonly referred to as an income statement or P&L. It shows your income and then subtracts your expenses to show whether or not you made a profit.

When preparing your income statement, you must create a sales forecast. For example, do you serve 100 or 200 customers per day? And will the turnover grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions has a major impact on your company's financial projections. Do as much research as possible to try and back up your assumptions in reality.


While balance sheets contain a lot of information, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities to narrow it down to the most important items you need to know. For example, if you spend $100,000 to expand your brewery, you won't see an immediate profit. Rather, it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Also, if a bank writes you a $100,000 check, you don't have to pay it back immediately. Rather, it is an obligation that you will pay back over time.

cash flow statement

Using your projected cash flow statement, you can calculate how much money you will need to start or grow your business and ensure that you never run out of cash. What most business owners and business owners don't realize is that you can make a profit, but you will run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let's say a company comes to you with a $100,000 brewing contract, which would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you should now be paying that $50,000 for supplies, brewery equipment rentals, staff salaries, etc. But let's say the company hasn't paid you in 180 days. During this 180-day period, you may run out of money.

When preparing your income statement and balance sheet, keep in mind some of the most important start-up costs:

  • Expansion of the new location including planning costs, construction costs, etc.
  • Brewing equipment costs
  • Cost of ingredients and maintaining sufficient supplies
  • Pay slips or salaries paid to staff
  • business insurance
  • taxes and permits
  • court costs


Include your full financial projections with your plan, along with any supporting evidence that makes your plan more attractive. For example, you can include your store design or the lease agreement for the location.

Do you have any questions? Read more:How to start a brewery

Conclusion of the microbrewery business plan

Creating a business plan for your brewery is a worthwhile undertaking. If you follow the template above, you'll end up being a true expert. You will really understand the brewery and microbreweries, your competition, how you do business and your potential customers. You have developed a marketing plan and really understand what it takes to start and grow a successful brewery.

How To Complete Your Brewery Business Plan In One Day!

Don't you wish there was a faster and easier way to complete your business plan?

MetGrowthink's Ultimate Brewery Business Plan Template, you can complete your plan in just 8 hours or less!

click hereto finalize your business plan today.

OR let us develop your plan for you

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies that have achieved tremendous success.

click hereto see how Growthink worksAdvice business planServices can prepare your business plan for you.

Microbrewery Business Plan FAQ

What is the easiest way to complete my microbrewery business plan?

Growthink's Ultimate Brewery Business Plan TemplateIt allows you to quickly and easily complete your brewery business plan.

Where can I download a sample brewery business plan in PDF format?

You can download our sample brewery business plan pdf templateHere. This is a sample business plan template that you can use in PDF format.

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