Location, Location, Location
I realized it had been a while since I posted so here's the update. I've mostly been visiting possible locations for the brewery but so far haven't found the right place. I have learned a thing or two along the way. Some of the villages require food service if alcohol is being served. However, I've found that "food service" to some of the villages amounts to a toaster oven and a few frozen pizzas. We'll call frozen pizzas Plan B. I'm looking into something a bit more palatable if possible. I'm also finding most retail units have 36 inch doors. Anything bigger than a 2 BBL capacity set up won't fit through those doors. But I've also learned that sometimes the plate glass windows can be removed for about $1000 to get equipment into the unit.
Over the years I've visited a few breweries that are in industrial/warehouse districts. I'm still looking into that because the rent is usually lower than retail but it's not as easy as I thought. The landlord has to be onboard to make the upgrades and the village has to be onboard for the variances and special use permits, So even if I find a warehouse location that could work I still have an uphill battle to convince the landlord and the village it's a good idea.
I also received a bit of an education from the architect. If you're trying to size up a location for your brewery, these are the numbers I have: Stout Tanks estimated 500 to 800 sq ft for the brewing equipment. The architect estimates 400 sq ft for two ADA single person bathrooms and the keg cooler. And then figure 15 sq ft per customer to determine how many people you can fit with what space is left. Although I did a rough layout for a 1600 sq ft unit using 500 sq ft for the brewery and 300 sq ft for the cooler and bathrooms which I think would have worked; the architect and I decided 2000 sq ft would be our best option.
I'll be adding a bit more to that after I complete my research on food service. I'm also finding that some landlords are kind of into adding a brewery to their properties so that might help once I find a good place. For now the search continues.