What You Need to Know About Starting an IPA Brewing Company

Do you think about and even plan for owning your own business one day? If so, you’re in good company with about 62 percent of adults in the US who want their own businesses. While many dream of a tech startup that will make them billionaires, not everyone loves their computer that much.

Maybe your dream is owning an IPA brewing company. If your heart speaks of hops and barley, starting a brewing company might prove the only thing that will make you happy, but there is a lot involved.

Keep reading for our beginner’s guide to owning a brewery.

Startup Costs

The first thing you must understand is that starting even a small crew beer brewing concern will cost you a lot. There are no absolute numbers because costs for things like real estate vary so much from location to location. As a general rule, though, assume you’ll need funding somewhere in the $500K to $1 million range.

You might find private investors willing to invest or you can look for crowdfunding opportunities.


Alcohol production is one of the more heavily regulated industries in the US. Your first order of business will be setting up a legal entity, typically an LLC.

Once that entity exists, you must secure a license from the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau or TTB. You’ll also need licenses from your state and likely from your city.

You’ll want to protect your intellectual property, such as the brewery and beer names, with trademark protections. Don’t forget about insurance, either.

If you get money from investors, make sure you comply with all applicable securities laws.

Brewing Equipment

Brewing equipment will take a huge bite out of your upfront funding. There is a long list of equipment you’ll need. Some of the key pieces include:

  • Kettles
  • Boilers
  • Fermentation Tanks
  • Storage Tanks

Some new breweries opt for turn-key brewhouses as a solution for their brewing needs. Don’t forget that you’ll also need bottling and labeling equipment for after you finish brewing.

IPA Brewing Company Location

Securing a location is another task that will likely cost you a substantial sum. Some aspiring brewery owners look for locations like shuttered restaurants because those locations often have a lot of the infrastructure you’ll need. Think in terms of plumbing and easily sanitized floors throughout much of the space.

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You also need a location that’s big enough to hold all of your equipment. So, make sure you’ve got a good idea of how much space that equipment needs.

Opening a Brewing Company

There are a lot of moving parts when you open an IPA brewing company. There are the actual parts in terms of a location, equipment, and eventually employees. There are also a lot of legal moving parts, such as state and federal licenses, brewer’s bonds, and even securities regulations that must keep in mind.

If you can raise the money and keep all of those moving parts under control, though, you can open your own brewery.

Looking for tips on running your new business? Check out the posts in our Business section.