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Shit’s getting real – We’re brewing the Eggnog Stout in October

Shit’S Getting Real – We’Re Brewing The Eggnog Stout In October

Shit’S Getting Real – We’Re Brewing The Eggnog Stout In October

Shit’S Getting Real – We’Re Brewing The Eggnog Stout In October

  • A few months ago, Eddie, Goffs and I (Dan) had a few beers and decided to make our own eggnog. We made the beer, as well as 6 other beers that served as small pilot beers, as we worked on commercial mass production.
  • Today, we’re happy to announce that it’s happening! We will be brewing our first commercial beers on a contract basis at Beard and Brau in Tamborine in October.
  • This post is for anyone interested in what we’re doing, and for anyone wondering about brewing their own beer.
  • This is a long post. tl; the Dr. version is the beer we are making. If you want to know how to do it, read the first part. If you want to know what 
  • we’re planning, read the next part. If you want the beer, sign up for our email at the bottom of the page.
  • Let’s go.
Part I – What you need to brew your own beer
  • In the first part of this post, I’ll detail what we’ve done to get to this point.
  • Here are the highlights.

Brewing Experience

  • Of course, first you need to know how to brew good beer. Fortunately, Govs has covered this pretty well. It may sound silly, but you can start a lot of businesses without expertise in a specific field. I don’t think that would work here.
  • Govi’s knowledge is astounding. Not only has it produced the weird and wonderful work we’ve done so far on homemade equipment, it’s expanded it to a full commercial scale batch. This process is always difficult and potentially riskier without the solid knowledge and experience of producers with beer.
  • You can drink slightly less beer, especially if you drink beer. However, I think you need to create something unique to make a splash, and this will be difficult if you are not intimately involved in the process. I will discuss further the contract that is in the pipeline.

A great team

  • Perhaps it goes without saying, but this business is not for a solo operator. There is a lot of work to be done and a variety of skills to build this system. Here are a few.
  1. Product design – can’t think of a better word to describe it, but Eddie and Gov have done the same in launching a series of sometimes crazy, sometimes safe beer recipes. govs has succeeded every time on our little test setup.
  2. Relationships – Eddie and Gove are both well-known names in the craft beer world. They have done a great job of building the right relationships with people, so much so that people pay attention to what we do and are happy to help us.
  3. Design and print – we’re both working on putting design together. I’ve gotten pretty good at understanding Photoshop and being able to put together some of the major pieces (logos, labels, decals, stickers, shirts, hats, etc.). It didn’t cost us any money and the printing was cheap.
    Merch-Eddie organized the completion of the shirts and hats. Both are great, and whenever we wear them (and especially wear hats for some reason), they get a lot of attention.
  4. Web – I run a web support company and have been building websites for 7 years, so we can set up a quick website and blog for free and easy.
  5. Content and Social Media – We have done a pretty good job of posting some decent content on the site and building a following on social media. I think this will be a real asset for us if we can continue to grow.
  6. Legal/Compliance – We also had to address some legal and compliance issues. govs has been in contact with the IRS, Eddie organized the banking, and I helped develop the partnership agreement.
  7. Market research – Let’s be honest. Attending events and drinking beer is hardly a skill. If it is, it’s what we’ve been practicing. What’s the deal with 10,000 hours?
  8. General business experience – I’ve been in business full time for 8 years, so that probably helps a bit too.
  • No doubt there’s more, but I think you get the idea. There’s a lot involved in this type of thing, especially if you don’t have any money and are working on it together.

Some equipment

Shit’S Getting Real – We’Re Brewing The Eggnog Stout In October

I think it was a good decision and we brewed a few pilot batches before going into full production. govs has a pretty good homebrew setup that was good enough to allow us to brew some great beer.

We discuss this system a little in this article.

The brew/licensed place

There are basically three options for brewing your first beer.

  1. Do a lab co-brew. In this case, it’s usually released under the name of the place where you brewed the beer and it’s actually their beer. This is a good place to start, to get your name out there and a cool place without too many barriers to entry. All you need to do is convince a brewery to do it with you.
  2. Contract brewing. That’s what we’re doing. We’ve found a brewery where we can brew our own beer under the supervision of the head of the brewery. It may be completely hands-off, but in our case we’re very involved. To sell beer under your own name, you will need to obtain a producer/wholesale license. This can take 3-6 months to obtain and is a reasonable amount of paperwork. In addition to the $1,200 license fee, you will need to pay a substantial amount of cash.
  3. Get your own setup and manufacturer/wholesale license. It’ll be fun and you’ll have complete control. But you’ll need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get started.

For us, contract brewing was the best balance between doing our own work and not taking too much risk. Since then, it’s just been the best place to be. The reasons we decided to work with Chris,Beard and Brau are

  1. Brewers – Chris is a top guy and very knowledgeable. It was crucial.
  2. Size – 800L is a good size for us. It would give us about 13 barrels and we are confident in selling that many.
  3. Facilities – Not all breweries are created equal. We checked out Chris’ setup a few weeks ago and took a closer look. It’s a clean and well-designed setup.
  4. Location – This can have an impact on a lot of things, including the water used, transport to and from brew day, and the shipping of kegs afterwards. For us, we really want to be known as a Gold Coast brewery, and we think Tamborine qualifies.
  5. Support services – Chris also helps with a range of other related services such as off-site storage, keg rentals and more. There are a lot of things to think about when you’re making beer, so Chris’ help here was really helpful.
  6. Price – Of course, price is important too.

A little cash.

I probably can’t say how much it costs to brew a beer. But let’s say we sell 15 barrels for $300, there’s not much left.

That’s pretty cool, especially for our first beer. I’d almost pay that much to go to a bar and drink my own beer haha.

Logistical Considerations

There are many factors to consider when moving your beer, such as

  1. Where to store the beer. In Qld, it needs to be stored in licensed premises.
  2. What kegs you use and who delivers and who picks it up.

We’re still hammering out the details of these issues, but Chris has been a big help here.

If you have questions about this sort of stuff, please ask in the comments and we’ll respond as we learn more.

ABN and business name

*Note this is general, don’t take accounting or legal advice from me.

You will need an ABN and a business name. You can very inexpensively and easily register for.

  1. Register an ABN here.
  2. Register a business name here.

It also makes sense to register for GST, but at lower incomes (current cutoff is $75,000/year) it is not necessary to register for GST. but it is hard to predict, so if you are serious, it makes sense to do so.

Detailed recipe

Govs has worked repeatedly with Chris on detailed recipes for beer. Chris uses his own system for recipes, but if you’re a home brewer, check out the Beer Smith software.

Software isn’t completely necessary, especially if you’re working with a brewer who is heavily involved in brewing.

Community Support

The craft beer community has been great for us so far. If you want to start a business in this space, you have to cultivate support in the community. I really didn’t want to pick people out in this post because there are so many people and I haven’t asked their permission. But we are very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to chat with us and help us out.
I hope we can repay your kindness with a good beer! I also hope this blog will be a resource for others who want to do the same thing.

Packaging Materials

Once the beer is brewed, your job is not done. We have also arranged for the following activities.

  1. Small keg collars. We tend to make our own due to cost.
  2. Tap stickers. We tend to print them on paper and then laminate and cut them ourselves. Still because of the cost.

We are not bottling, so we don’t need labels. But if you are, you need labels, and there are some additional considerations. Chris does have a bottling facility, so that may be an option for the future. Right now we’re just trying to keep it simple.

Part 2 – What are the dark hops doing?

Here is a summary of our plans for our first beer.

Where are we brewing?

Shit’S Getting Real – We’Re Brewing The Eggnog Stout In October

As mentioned earlier, we are happy to brew beer at Beard and Brau in Tamborine. Chris is a craft beer OG and he has a pretty wicked 800L setup. In addition, he is very flexible in allowing us to control the brewing process. Not to mention the patients with all the back and forth associated with the first appointment.

It’s great to have people and places like this to help newcomers to the industry. Maybe one day we can do the same, who knows?