How Much Does It Cost to Start a Brewpub?

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It is the desire of many people to own their own business. The allure of being the boss and setting your own hours is very appealing. For beer lovers, opening a brewpub can be a perfect choice. So, how much does it cost to start a brewpub?

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Brewpub?

Generally, it costs between $250,000 and $1 million to open a brewpub. At times, the figure can go up to $2 million due to other factors such as the size of the pub, the location, and government regulations. In most cases, you will need at least $250,000 in cash to start and cover the initial costs.

The cost of the brewing equipment is one of the biggest start-up expenses for a brewpub. You will need stainless steel kettles, fermenting tanks, and bright tanks that hold the beer. The size of the tanks will depend on how much beer you plan to brew. A three-barrel system is common for a small brewpub that produces about 300 gallons of beer per batch.

An image of an empty brewpub

You will also need a glycol chiller to keep the beer at the proper temperature, as well as taps, kegs, and other serving supplies. Labor costs, licenses, transportation and shipping, and marketing are other start-up expenses that should be considered. So, ensure you are well-prepared before venturing into this business.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Starting a Brewpub

There are several factors that can affect the cost of starting your brewpub that every potential owner should be aware of. The following are some of the most important ones:


The location of your brewpub will have a big impact on its start-up costs. If you choose to open your pub in a prime area, the rent or mortgage will be higher than if you opt for a less desirable location. In addition, the cost of construction or renovations will be more expensive in a prime location.

It is advisable to do due diligence when choosing a location for your brewpub. While a high-traffic area may seem like a good choice, its costs could outweigh the benefits.

Size of the Brewpub

The size of your brewpub will also play a role in its start-up costs. A larger space will require more expensive equipment and furniture. In addition, it will cost more to heat, cool, and maintain a larger brewpub.

Therefore, it is important to choose a size that is appropriate for your needs and budget. This way, you will cut costs without sacrificing quality or service.

Type of Brewing Equipment

Brewing equipment comes in different sizes and types. The type of equipment you choose will impact your start-up costs. For instance, a three-barrel system is less expensive than a seven-barrel system.

In addition, used brewing equipment is often available at a fraction of the cost of new equipment. However, it is important to make sure that the used equipment is in good condition and will meet your needs.

An image of a brewpub looks like

Licenses and Permits

These days, obtaining various licenses and permits is necessary before opening a brewpub. The cost of these can vary depending on the type of business and its location. For example, a liquor license can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This is because most governments are very strict when it comes to the sale of alcohol.

It is important to research the licenses and permits that are required in your area. This way, you can budget for the cost and avoid any surprises down the road. Remember, you require several licenses and permits, such as a food license, liquor license, and business permit.

How to Save on the Cost of Starting a Brewpub

You can save on the cost of starting your brewpub in several ways. You don’t want to cut corners when it comes to quality; however, there are ways to save on start-up costs. The following are some tips:

  • Avoid prime locations since you end up paying more in rent or mortgage. This way, you can save on start-up costs.
  • Choose used brewing equipment instead of new. This is a great way to save money, as long as the equipment is in good condition.
  • Research the licenses and permits that are required in your area. This will help you budget for the cost and avoid any surprises down the road.
  • Consider renting space in an existing brewpub. This can greatly reduce start-up costs, as you won’t have to worry about construction or renovations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Other Costs When Starting a Brewpub?

Yes, there are always hidden costs when starting any business. For instance, you may need to purchase additional insurance for your brewpub. There may also be unexpected repairs or renovations that need to be made.

What’s the Best Way to Get Financing for a Brewpub?

There are several ways to finance your brewpub. You can use your own savings, take out a loan from the bank, or look for investors to provide the capital you need.


Starting a brewpub can be a great way to enter the food and beverage industry. However, it is important to be aware of the costs involved. Ensure you do your research and budget accordingly to avoid any surprises down the road.