When starting a brewery, there’s a lot to consider (aside from brewing amazing beer). Having the right equipment, landing a great location, and hiring an efficient staff are just a few considerations. There are several decisions to be made and it can get complicated. Here are some of our best insights to help you start out on top in building a strong foundation for your brewery:
- How Much Beer Do I Plan to Produce?
That’s really the first question to ask. Most breweries in the planning stage are designed around their selected brewing equipment. The brewing capacity of your equipment will determine how many gallons/barrels of beer you plan to brew. Then, you project how much beer you need to sell, and what type of cooperage you will need.
- How Many Kegs Do I Need?
The Hillebrand Keg Pros will work with you and provide the guidance to manage your keg fleet as your business grows. The Keg Pros assess the size of your brewery, your distribution plan, the size of your geographic market (hyper-local to national), your goals, and projected growth. They will advise you on the best keg sourcing program that fits your needs. It’s also important to consider your brewery’s keg turn, and how fast your kegs come back to your brewery for another clean-fill-sell cycle. Let the Hillebrand KegFleet Estimator kickstart the process for you.
- Is it really that important to track my kegs?
Yes. There are obvious benefits of tracking your kegs, which include optimized keg return cycles and increased visibility. One of the less obvious benefits is quality control. Our KegID tracking system has features that allow you to stay on top of the quality of your beer. By adding the content and batch information to the keg means that as your beer goes out, you know exactly what is in each keg and where it is being delivered. With the “Maintenance Dashboard,” KegID also helps you monitor your kegs so that your beer is always going into a clean and properly functioning keg. Kegs that need unexpected maintenance can be flagged for repair, or you can proactively schedule routine maintenance. Additionally, if you brew specialty beers, you can ensure a deeper cleaning of those kegs by flagging them for this maintenance when they return to the brewery. Another bonus of tracking your kegs is that this practice complies with lending institutions which demand asset tracking in order to finance your kegs. If you distribute outside your local area, you will find that KegID also pairs well with our Kegspediter keg return program. This increases your turn times even more as we manage all the reverse logistics of keg return, so that you can focus on your beer. If you’d like to talk to a Keg Pro about how any of our solutions can help your business, contact our experts.
- Do I manage my kegs, or just keep track manually?
Hillebrand’s Kegspediter is the industry’s leading keg management solution. It provides faster keg returns, improved keg retention, keg audit and census service, keg deposit management, and intelligent, real-time business data. Kegspediter was developed to integrate perfectly with our KegID keg tracking solution, which delivers full visibility of your keg fleet as it moves through the supply chain. This is complicated to manage by spreadsheet, so let Hillebrand Solutions and Keg Pros handle it for you. Let the Hillebrand Kegstimator kick-start the process for you.
- Should We Brand Our Kegs?
In short, yes! Branding your kegs is an easy and effective way for brewers to represent their brand consistently in this highly-saturated marketplace. If you want to build your brewery’s brand (of course you do), leasing with KegFleet means that every keg will have your logo on it. In an industry where kegs go missing all the time, having strong branding on your kegs makes it much easier for distributors to identify them and for you to get them back. A branded keg also reduces the chance of it being stolen, and it means that only your beer will go into your kegs.
- Should I Purchase or Lease-to-Own?
Cooperage can be one of the most expensive and difficult decisions brewers are faced with. Kegs require a tremendous amount of a brewer’s capital. There’s no clear answer when it comes to purchasing versus leasing because the ideal solution is different for every brewery. Allow the Hillebrand Keg Pros to consult with you before you make this important decision. They have the experience and the facts that will take the confusion and apprehension out of decision. Let the Hillebrand KegID ROI Estimator kick-start the process for you.
Hillebrand Keg Pro Tips:
- Buying Kegs
- Buying can be very expensive upfront, but this comes with the benefit of not having a monthly “rent” bill for kegs.
- You can take comfort in knowing that the keg is yours and yours alone.
- Leasing Kegs
- Leasing will save you money upfront and allows you to order only what is necessary in the early stages. (Don’t pay for more kegs than you need.)
- KegFleet is our intelligent keg leasing solution, and it allows for:
- Built-in KegID tracking at no extra charge – Taking the stress out of wondering where your kegs are.
- Lease-to-own option – Leasing is a great way to get your feet in the water, and when you experience the benefits of the system firsthand, you have the complete option to buy the kegs for a fair and reasonable price.
- Flexible partnership from the Hillebrand Keg Pros – Who are experts in keg management.
- Favorable leasing terms – Designed to meet your needs. Don’t make the mistake that other breweries make by getting stuck in a deal that has no way out.
- Top quality kegs – Kegs hold your most precious asset: your beer. It is just as important to have high-quality, well-constructed kegs as it is to have high-quality beer. Each KegFleet intelligent keg is produced by a leading certified keg manufacturer.
- Build brand equity – Your KegFleet kegs come complete with your brewery’s branding, so that you can start building brand awareness right away and take business further.
Contact the Keg Pros Today
If you’re interested in hearing more about how any of these solutions can benefit your brewery, contact our Keg Pros today!