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Turnkey systems prove worry free.

Turnkey Systems Prove Worry Free

Those familiar with the popular television show, "MacGyver" are probably aware that with some ingenuity and chewing gum, you can build darn-near anything. There are those with a mechanical bent, who, given a smattering of brewing science, could put together the tanks and pipes, malt and yeast, to turn out a product which would fit under the all-encompassing classification of beer. For these people, it is a labor of love, an outlet for their creative juices, and a hallmark of their tenacious and dynamic nature.

However, this approach is somewhat labor intensive. It doesn't allow the publican to do much else besides work in the brewery. There is no guarantee of consistency of product. Cost factors--if there is time to calculate them--are variable. There is no level of comfort derived from a predictable cash flow based on a business plan that includes fixed capital cost, fixed cost of production, and fixed return on investment. The emphasis is on making beer, rather than selling it.

A turnkey system intimates, on the other hand, that for a specific amount of capital and a specific amount of effort, the publican will have a brewery capable of producing a specific amount of beer. He will then be engaged in what he does best: selling a package of food and beverage and concentrating on what makes him a profit.

One of the myths associated with a turnkey brewery is that the restaurant must be designed around the brewery, rather than the reverse. This couldn't be further from the truth. The design or configuration of the brewery, if manufactured by a knowledgeable company, is tailored to the needs of the owner.

Factors such as available space, layout of the establishment, types or styles of beer required, and volume of beer to be produced are all investigated before the brewery is manufactured. Assistance is given in the areas of marketing, finance, regulations, and interior design.

A company providing a turnkey system should offer layout drawings. The company should work with the architect or engineer who is designing the restaurant or refurbishment. The firm should also provide a comprehensive list of required services (water, gas, waste, electricity, air conditioning, etc.) and specific locations for each. Additionally, the turnkey company should be able to advise on a variety of wall finishings, lighting requirements, floor grates, and the like.

The manufacturer should also serve as the owner's brewing consultant. The publican will have the knowledge of what beer will sell for the establishment, based on demographics, menu, history, pub format. The provider of the turnkey system should, therefore, offer recipes unique to the establishment and consistently reproducible, as part of the turnkey price.

A turnkey brewery should come complete with comprehensive operations manuals for every piece of equipment and should cover every facet of the brewing process. The manufacturer of the system should warrantee the complete brewery. There should be a level of responsibility inherent in the contractual obligations of the manufacturer that provides comfort to the owner and to his chosen financial institution.

The provider of a turnkey system should have a proven track record. The company should be able to provide the owner with a list of every installation, together with the names and phone numbers of owners. Care should be taken to ensure that this list includes every project with which the company has been involved. It is very easy to list only one's successes.

In summary, a turnkey system should leave a brewery owner worry free. Then, a business plan can be developed without worry of costly overruns and the brewery owner can produce beer and not be concerned with variable costs or dumping a brew. He can spend his time and efforts running the brewery, instead of the brewery running him.

Jim Veinot is a representative of Cask Brewing Systems, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, a position which has involved participating in the start up of 14 microbreweries and brewpubs in the last three years.
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Title Annotation:starting a small brewery
Author:Veinot, Jim
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Sep 11, 1989
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