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Brewery Business Plan Sample

Renee MitsonAuthor

Executive Summary

Concept

Beer lovers adore local brews, and even non-beer drinkers can find themselves becoming a part of the brewery community when the atmosphere is right. Stechly Brewery brings traditional polish Grodziskie-style beer to the Minneapolis’ Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, providing patrons with exciting community events, fresh polish sausage sandwiches, and delicious beer in a spacious and comfortable environment, suitable for all ages. 

Mission Statement

Stechly Brewery is a neighborhood microbrewery in the heart of Minneapolis’ Marcy-Holmes neighborhood which bridges working-class locals, University of Minnesota affiliates, and young professionals new to the area. Its mission is to create a family-friendly community space that also happens to be an incredibly delicious brewery. That said, Stechly’s will be dog-friendly, kid-friendly, and event-friendly, allowing people to utilize Stechly’s gigantic warehouse for all kinds of needs. Owned and operated by John Stechly, this brewery will hire a staff of skilled brewers and enthusiasts to help bring their beer dreams to life.

Menu

Stechly Brewery will offer its brews, mainly Grodziskie style beers, along with other Eastern European styles of beer such as Czech Pilsner and Hungarian Barna. Whether it be a seasonal treat or a staple of the brewery, guests will be able to try a variety of Eastern European options in a knowledgeable, friendly, and inclusive space. Additionally, Stechly will have the license to grill polish sausage sandwiches to order for guests wanting a genuine experience. Stechly Brewery will also partner with local food trucks for special events, selling a variety of local snacks and artisanal treats from Minneapolis makers.

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Market

Marcy-Holmes is an up-and-coming neighborhood with ample warehouse space along the Mississippi River on the east bank of Minneapolis, a few miles north of the University of Minnesota main campus. This neighborhood has easy access to the city’s downtown, is close to neighboring Saint Paul, and offers plenty to do. Marcy-Holmes is unpretentious and fun, home to mom-and-pop restaurants as well as inspired fusion eateries, local dive bars, and themed cocktail restaurants. 

Financing

John Stechly will invest in the brewery’s success, but he will also have to seek SBA loans and business lines of credit to bring this vision to life. Also, he will seek outside investment in exchange for partial ownership of the brewery. John will provide $150,000 of his savings for the brewery, as well as borrow another $100,000 in SBA, and allocate 20% of the ownership to outside investment for an additional $100,000 in capital. These up-front finances will help to cover the extensive brewing equipment and outfitting of the large retail space. The total financing will be $350,000.

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Company Overview

Brewery Concept

Stechly Brewery, located just outside downtown Minneapolis in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood, lends inspiration from some of Poland and Eastern Europe’s most reputable breweries and Beer Halls. Stechly beers are brewed with all-natural ingredients that begin with high-quality single-source water as well as a multi-step filtration system. The brewery also uses premium malt barley imported from Canada and select Czech and Bavarian hops. 

As a space, Stechly is perfect for community events for all ages. Children, pets, and non-drinkers are all welcome to Stechly. John Stechly plans to integrate weekly events such as trivia leagues and karaoke, as well as makers markets and games. The brewery will be available to rent for special events (such as weddings and birthday parties) and collaborate with local food trucks and other Minneapolis small businesses. 

Brewery Service Model

Stechly Brewery is a relaxed and charming brewery for people who want to catch up with friends and aren’t in a rush. It provides relaxed and reliable service in a family atmosphere where bartenders treat patrons warmly and respectfully. Bartenders will be able to wear clothing of their choice and bring their personalities to work. Team members will be recruited with an emphasis on choosing individuals who will represent the neighborhood and create an atmosphere of community. Patrons will be able to reserve picnic tables (outdoor and indoor) for birthday parties and other events. There will be no private rooms so that everyone can intermingle with one another within the space. The bartenders will man a large bar, pouring beer for patrons to pick up and bring to their tables. Bartenders will also circle the brewery space frequently to pick up empty glasses and clear tables. Patrons can bring their food, purchase authentic Polish sausage sandwiches, or check out the food trucks just outside the brewery space, either alongside the indoor seating area or in the parking lot. 

Sample Menu

  • Polish Grodziskie-style beer

  • Czech Pilsner-style beer

  • Hungarian Barna-style beer

  • Seasonal winter and summer brews

  • Cold brew coffee and soft drinks for non-drinkers. 

  • Authentic grilled Polish sausage sandwiches with a variety of mustard offerings

  • Freshly made pretzels provided by a local vendor and heated briefly on the grill along with mustard

  • Food from any visiting food trucks

  • Brewery merchandise like tee shirts and tote bags

  • Growlers to go

Design and Layout

Stechly Brewery will be a large warehouse establishment able to accommodate hundreds of guests. There will be bag toss and other yard games inside the building as well as outside on the expansive patio when the weather is warm enough. The inside of the brewery will be a true hall with picnic tables and long tables aligned, urging guests of different parties to sit side by side. There will be no televisions, but there will be a projector for specific movie night events as well as trivia. The projector will also occasionally promote specials from the food trucks or other event-specific promotions for the brewery. 

The staff will be encouraged to wear work-appropriate outfits of their choice. Visible tattoos or piercings will not be discouraged and - as long as friendly service is provided - service workers will be encouraged to show off their personalities at work. The atmosphere will be inclusive and diversity-friendly with a zero-tolerance policy against racist, classist, or sexist language. 

To increase movement and community, all drinks and snacks will be ordered directly from the bartenders. There will be no table service. Patrons will be able to scan a QR code at their table to learn more about the current brews available. 

Management Team

Owner - John Stechly always dreamed of opening a brewery in his childhood home in the Twin Cities. After moving to Chicago for college, he worked in sales for over a decade before deciding to put forward his savings toward this dream. With Polish immigrant parents, John is excited to bring Eastern European-style beer to Minneapolis and share delicious homemade sausage sandwiches with his community. 

Bartenders - the bartenders will assist John in the operation of Stechly brewery and pour beer to the customers. Bartenders must be knowledgeable about the beer offerings and the operation of the brewery - for example, where guests should sit, where there are pet relief areas and upcoming food truck schedules. They will also operate the point of sale system. 

Grillers - There will be one person at all times dedicated to grilling the Polish sausages for sausage sandwiches. This person will also display the mustard choices and answer any food questions. On slower pace days where a griller isn’t necessary, John Stechly will handle all grilling responsibilities. 

Industry Analysis

Located just outside downtown Minneapolis, Stechly Brewery will attract locals and suburbanites visiting the city as well as weekend tourists and the older University of Minnesota student population. 

Target Market

Marcy-Holmes benefits from being part of the larger “twin cities” - Minneapolis and Saint Paul, which win awards every year for being some of the best places in the country to live and work. Stechly Brewery will be located near the bike path and bus routes, therefore being accessible to residents throughout the city. The brewery will also offer plentiful parking in the large parking lot, allowing those from further away or who would prefer to drive by car to visit. 

Stechly Brewery aims to attract locals and Minneapolis enthusiasts without becoming a tourist destination. Through local advertising and local hiring, Stechly will remain a neighborhood brewery, abstaining from advertising bar crawls or large events on the main pages of Twin Cities nightlife or event media outlets. 

This brewery also strives to serve customers who want a relaxing neighborhood place to gather, whether to escape the heat in the summer or to warm up in the winter. Stechly has prices that cater to middle-income households and provides an inclusive atmosphere. 

Market Positioning

Marcy-Holmes benefits from being a class neighborhood in the twin cities while still having a trendy reputation and lots of new business growth. Stechly Brewery aims to provide a casual, honest, friendly atmosphere that is both familiar and high quality. Stechly Brewery will also promote itself as a place to spend time, where patrons will not feel rushed and can reconnect and meet a friend on the weekend or after a long day working downtown.  

While Stechly aspires to be a beer lovers' brewery, the brewery will still offer cold brew coffee, soft drinks, and polish sausage, along with food truck offerings and pretzels. This will add to the family-friendly atmosphere. While some breweries are hot spots for bar crawls or bachelor parties, this brewery will be for everyone and might be better suited as the “first stop” for a bar crawl but certainly a place for good clean fun. 

Location Analysis

Marcy-Holmes is just a five-ten minute drive from downtown Minneapolis and equally close to Saint Paul, Minnesota. This provides the perfect location for tourists and locals from both cities along with those from the East Bank of Minneapolis, which includes the majority of the University of Minnesota. Marcy-Holmes is very accessible by bike, car, or public transportation, making it easy for everyone to reach, from a carpool family of five to a college student to those working downtown. 

The Twin Cities combined have just under 750,000 full-time residents in the greater metro area at nearly 3.5 million. Hundreds of thousands of Minnesota residents commute into either Minneapolis or Saint Paul each day, and many commutes by rail, bus, and car. Marcy-Holmes provides an easy stop on the way home. It is also a great neighborhood option for residents of the area. It has a mix of single-family homes, rented homes, owned homes, rented apartments, and owned condos. 

Competitive Analysis


Seats

Meals

Pricing

Hours

Notes

Stechly Brewery

200

Beer and sausage sandwiches

*

12:00 PM - 11:00 AM

Food trucks as well as in-house sandwiches. 

Steam Pilsner

75

Bar and Full Kitchen

**

10:00 am - 2:00 AM

Full kitchen, tends to be for partying, late-night menu.

Grog’s Microbrew

50

Lunch & Dinner

***

11:30 am - 11:00 pm

Dimly lit and cozy atmosphere, much more expensive. 


Marketing Plan

Stechly Brewery is all about community fun. Rather than being a “special night out” spot, this brewery intends to be a casual gathering place where locals and those on foot can visit again and again when they want to meet friends or attend neighborhood events. 

Customer Database

Stechly will distribute zine-inspired flyers at doorsteps around the neighborhood and provide the same flyers at neighborhood restaurants. Stechly will also be featured on local tourist websites of breweries and local attractions. The goal is to attract a mix of locals and those from out of town, using events as marketing pushes to get people to come to the brewery for the first time. 

Loyalty Program

Stechly Brewery will offer a reward program for those participating in beer flights to sample the seasonal and foundational beer offerings. There will also be a punch card for those who buy a full pint or larger. Once someone has purchased five flights, they will get an additional flight for free. Once a customer has purchased 10 pints, their 11th pint is free. Growlers will also have rewards - for example, buy ten growlers of beer, and get your 11th free. These loyalty rewards will be accessed efficiently via email - all customers need to do is provide their username at checkout to collect rewards.

Community and Charity Involvement

Because Stechly seeks to be an inclusive and forward-thinking neighborhood space, the brewery will support local events such as gay pride, community sports teams, and other locally-specific initiatives. Stechly Brewery will sponsor local organizations that champion inclusivity, racial diversity, and equity. It will also have inclusive stickers and emblems on its door, including Black Lives Matter and the various LGBT pride flags. 

Public Relations

Stechly will participate in local word-of-mouth public relations and rely on Google reviews to bolster search engine optimization (SEO) and online visibility. The brewery will also work with other local businesses to source seasonal snacks, food truck events, and collaboration opportunities. For instance, local businesses will have the opportunity to sell a seasonal snack alongside Stechly’s seasonal beers at the brewery to cross-promote to one another with a casual and delicious pairing.

Advertising and Social Media

Stechly Brewery will rely on a strong Instagram and Facebook presence for all specials to promote limited edition brews and announce the availability of new food truck options or brewery events. The big space and outdoor patio - not to mention the extensive games - will provide photo-worthy opportunities for Stechly’s bartenders to highlight the brewery on Instagram, and the owners will spend time daily answering comments and direct messages in a friendly manner. The availability, genuineness, and earnest approach Stechly will utilize for its Instagram and Facebook pages will act as advertising and increase visibility. Additionally, Stechly Brewery will cross-promote other local businesses and events in pursuit of strengthening community relations.

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Operations Plan

Staffing and Training

As the owner is already accounted for, Stechly Brewery’s biggest priority is to hire the right bartending staff for the location. We will hire five bartenders and grow as needed.

Staff training will take place in the months leading up to the brewery’s opening. The owner will conduct interviews and hire bartenders based on Stechly’s values and their answers to the interview questions listed below. 

Recruitment

To recruit skilled and good-fit bartenders, Stechly Brewery will rely on the recommendations of local restaurants and community-based hiring. The hiring process will focus on creating a kind, easy-going staff with a passion for beer brewing and beer origins. The owners will prioritize personality and are willing to train less experienced staff who will be able to build the communal experience of Stechly Brewery. Stechly will also promote open positions on their Instagram and ask local nearby restaurants and bars to cross-promote in search of new talent. 

Interview Questions

  1. Talk about some of your favorite beers and why?

  2. Which country’s brewing styles are most interesting to you?

  3. How familiar are you with how beer is made?

  4. What kind of snacks and foods do you like to pair beer with?

  5. What does the perfect holiday beer taste like to you?

  6. What’s your favorite local brewery and why?

  7. What is your favorite classic cocktail and why?

  8. Which flavors get you excited?

  9. What is your bartending style?

  10. What’s your favorite thing about Marcy-Holmes?

  11. What are your 3 top restaurants or bars in Marcy-Holmes and why?

Job Descriptions

Owners: 

The owner will handle the financial and administrative operations of the business, work alongside the bartenders for marketing and creative ideas, fill in shifts for bartenders, and work to help train the bartending staff. 

Bartenders:

Bartenders are responsible for greeting all patrons and making quality pours in a casual atmosphere. They will participate in tasting new product offerings and brainstorming new collaborations, and tenured bartenders will also be able to update the bar’s social media and interact with customers online. All bartenders are responsible for stocking the bar, napkins, and coasters as well as operating the point-of-sale and cash register.

Work Health and Safety Standards

To make Stechly Brewery as safe a working environment as possible for everyone, we will implement the following health and safety procedures.

  • All staff is required to wear slip-resistant footwear. 

  • All bartenders must be licensed and tips certified. 

  • To avoid injury on the job, all staff will be trained on how to move heavy objects - like boxes - and how to handle the brewery's extremely hot or cold temperatures.

  • Management staff will create safety practices and procedures to prevent potential hazards to employees and guests.

  • Staff will not be expected to work when ill. Management will work to get shifts covered to keep the restaurant running smoothly so that the pressure doesn’t fall on ill employees.

  • Stechly Brewery will follow all local health guidelines and restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staffing Model

Stechly will operate an open-book management model where the bar’s finances and revenue are shared and disseminated to all employees. The bar will hold bi-weekly staff meetings to share information about the business’s goals. This transparent model will foster goodwill with employees and promote a sense of inclusivity and community. 

  • The owner will make a base hourly pay of $20 an hour plus shared tips. 

  • Bartenders will make a base hourly pay of $10 an hour plus shared tips. 

  • The owners will not directly yield a salary but will share profits.

  • Long-term employees will be eligible for profit-sharing and potentially partial ownership. 

Customer Service Policies and Procedures

Three principles will guide guest service at Stechly:

  1. Friendliness - a casual and no-stress customer service environment where guests do not feel rushed or pressured to make a decision and can sit and relax. 

  2. Community - Stechly is a community bar in Marcy-Holmes, Minneapolis, and takes pride in being part of its neighborhood. Everyone is welcome and locals are made to feel at home. 

  3. Creativity - by featuring new snacks and craft beers from local breweries, Stechly Brewery will be a dive bar with a little something extra. Staff will be extremely knowledgeable about beer and be excited about the beer-tasting process. 

  4. Inclusivity - Stechly Brewery is a forward-thinking brewery where everyone is welcome. Staff members will treat all patrons with respect and dignity, championing the fair and equitable treatment of every guest.

Suppliers

Stechly will work with several local brewery suppliers as well as collaborate with local restaurants and food trucks. The brewery will source local Polish sausage from Twin Cities suppliers and aspires to use local or unique products in their inspired mustard offerings. Featured brews and pairings will be featured on the menu by name along with any affiliated businesses. And, these businesses will be tagged on social media to support a business model of pride and co-promotion. 

Financial Analysis and Growth Plan

$16/seat/hour (about two beers)

 Investment Plan

John Stechly will invest in the brewery’s success, but he will also have to seek SBA loans and business lines of credit to bring this vision to life. Additionally, he will seek outside investment in exchange for partial ownership of the brewery. John will provide $150,000 of his savings for the brewery, as well as borrow another $100,000 in SBA, and allocate 20% of the ownership to outside investment for an additional $100,000 in capital. These up-front finances will help to cover the extensive brewing equipment and outfitting of the large retail space. The total financing will total $350,000. 

The owner will return all profits after a $20 hourly rate until the business can pay back its loans and is completely solvent. Business lines of credit will be sought for some expenses, such as initial orders for equipment, supplies, and ingredients. The business will refuse any lines of credit above 5% interest.

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