Starting a Craft Brewery – Avoiding the Nightmare

costanzo brewing micro brewing and microbrewery setup

With so many of us harbouring a dream of one day starting a microbrewery, lets look at some courses which can hopefully help avoid some of the pitfalls.

The Dream vs The Reality

For anyone who has ever brewed a really good beer and thought to themselves, ‘I could release that’ you wouldn’t be the first. Unfortunately there is a graveyard littered with failed dreams, empty bank accounts and closed up breweries. In fact well in excess of 300 microbreweries have not survived Australia’s rugged beer market. In a nutshell it’s less glamorous, more expensive and much harder work than most anticipate.For that reason there are an increasing number of people with experience in the beer industry taking on the role of consultants to reduce the risk of it all going belly up.There is so much more to starting a brewery than most of us would ever consider. Beyond creating a quality product, a great label and finding a suitable venue, there are also council permits to consider, brewery equipment to construct, plumbing, gas and electrical to sort as well as working out where you’re going to store your finished product.For those with a dream to those working towards their dream there are courses and consultants. This comes at a cost of course as it is their business, but it is also their business to make sure that those they advise are successful.

costanzo brewing microbrewery setup


Ask a Pro

Vince Costanzo, who runs Costanzo Brewing Consultancy has been in the beer industry for over 25 years. In that time he has been a brewer and shift manager with CUB, worked in their research & development team and then spent some time with Matilda Bay.This has meant that he learnt a lot which he is ready to share his knowledge with others. “There is a growing interest in homebrewing as evidenced by the recent homebrewing conferences (ANHC) held in Melbourne,” says Costanzo. “The main part of the business at the moment is teaching homebrewers and those contemplating starting a microbrewery.”“There are about 20% of those students attending my courses that have a dream or are contemplating starting their very own microbrewery or pub brewery.” That’s a lot of people with some big dreams. For those keen to continue their journey Constanzo offers a variety of courses. “I would recommend the four day Masterbrew course which is held in some states and New Zealand. And as a prelude the one day Brewing Essentials course which is basically a summary or refresher for brewers,” explains Costanzo.  “Students find that the one day hands on brew day, as part of the Masterbrew course, cements the theory work in their minds and becomes a valuable experience for them.”

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