Why microbreweries are attracting big business


If you love your home-brew and you dream of launching your own small business, then a microbrewery could be the business for you.

Microbreweries are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, as more home-brewers make the leap into professionalism by launching their own business. A microbrewery – also known as a craft brewery or boutique brewery – generally only produces around 15,000 barrels a year.

These boutique brewers, unlike large-scale breweries, base their marketing strategy on attracting customers through the distinctiveness of their unique flavoursome beer. In Victoria and Western Australia, tours of local microbreweries are a popular weekend activity, and micro-breweries offer a small fee for tastings. These tastings can lead to lucrative repeat business as customers can order their favourite beer online from home.

As small-business owners, brewers have the advantage of being passionate about their product and they have generally dedicated years of experimentation and research through home-brewing. The owners of the Hawthorn Brewing Company, established in 2008, describe themselves as "intrepid explorers [who] scour the beer world, risking life and limb to bring home the secrets of its best brewers." As a result, the Hawthorn Brewing Company offers an international range of flavours, from Czech-inspired Pilsner to Witbier, a wheat-based ale inspired by Belgian beer.

If you are planning to share your own boutique brew with paying customers, you might consider diversifying your business to include tours, restaurant meals or catering. The Bellarine Estate began as a winery in 1996; the owners Peter and Lizette Kenny established a brewery in 2007. There is also a restaurant on the property, and it is a popular and picturesque location for weddings and functions. Bridgeroad Brewers, also in Victoria, has combined their brewery with a pizzeria, where the pizza dough is made with a liberal dash of the brewery's own Bavarian Wheat Beer.

As boutique beer does not include artificial flavours or additives, micro-brewers can promote their ale as a healthier and more natural product than mainstream brands. The owners of the Grand Ridge Brewery proudly claim that the exceptionally high quality and purity of their beer "typically results in a far less severe hangover, if any at all."

Interested in starting your own hospitality venture? Why not give Silver Chef a call to chat through your ideas? With 30 years' experience, Silver Chef is the only dedicated hospitality equipment finance specialist and will help you achieve your dreams. Visit www.silverchef.com.au or call 1800 337 153.

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