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notsomighty
09-20-2011, 06:00 AM
Is it wrong that, not having even started making my first mead, that I'm looking at commercial equipment?

So far I've found a small micro brewery for sale, with $250k worth of equipment for about $70k.

I have a friend who has recently shut down a spirits wholesale business and has 2 x 300lt Stainless Steel vats up for grabs.

A friend who wholesales foods and equipment... willing to help out.

My fiance, who just gives me the "I'm willing to let this one play out" look.

I feel like Homer Simpson right now.

Chevette Girl
09-20-2011, 10:54 AM
Hard to pass up on deals like that! I guess you better get a few batches going so you can justify it :)

...and you can always sell stuff on ebay later if you have too much or lose interest in meadmaking...

TheAlchemist
09-20-2011, 05:37 PM
...lose interest in meadmaking...

Impossible!

But seriously, I hope you have some great honey sources! And, as CG is always saying...welcome to the addictio...hobby!

AToE
09-20-2011, 08:47 PM
It's not wrong, might be a little crazy though! Here's the best advice I can give - start reading everything IanB has written on the small meadery he's got - he's written a very extensive account of all the difficulty involved, how much work (ALL of his spare time) and how financially challenging it has been so far.

Just go into advanced search, and set it to find all threads started by IanB.

caffeine211
09-20-2011, 10:53 PM
It's not wrong, might be a little crazy though!

That sounds about right.

Although if I had 70k lying around I'd probably be considering doing the same thing as you...

But yeah, I would definitely do some research. It's definitely not as easy as "get equipment" -> "sell mead". And that is a lot of money to throw into something that might not pan out.

AToE
09-20-2011, 10:57 PM
I'm still what I consider pretty much a newb, have only been doing this for I think about 2 years - but I did a lot of batches at first to accellerate my learning, so I'm nearing batch # 50 already. Even with that practice, and all the reading I've done here on starting a meadery... I would still be very careful about starting one, it's a tough business.

And you're looking at a minimum of 1-2 years before you even have a clue if you know what you're doing making the mead anyways, learning mead is slloooooooowwwww because aging it is slooooowww! ;)

wildoates
09-20-2011, 11:14 PM
I'm still what I consider pretty much a newb, have only been doing this for I think about 2 years - but I did a lot of batches at first to accellerate my learning, so I'm nearing batch # 50 already. Even with that practice, and all the reading I've done here on starting a meadery... I would still be very careful about starting one, it's a tough business.

And you're looking at a minimum of 1-2 years before you even have a clue if you know what you're doing making the mead anyways, learning mead is slloooooooowwwww because aging it is slooooowww! ;)

I'm with you, I'd never want to do it alone. But wouldn't it be fun?!

notsomighty
09-20-2011, 11:48 PM
;) Thanks for the advice and reality check. I know I'm dreaming at this stage. I'm just having one of those 'Horse before the Cart' moments.

caffeine211
09-20-2011, 11:51 PM
I'm still what I consider pretty much a newb, have only been doing this for I think about 2 years - but I did a lot of batches at first to accellerate my learning, so I'm nearing batch # 50 already. Even with that practice, and all the reading I've done here on starting a meadery... I would still be very careful about starting one, it's a tough business.

And you're looking at a minimum of 1-2 years before you even have a clue if you know what you're doing making the mead anyways, learning mead is slloooooooowwwww because aging it is slooooowww! ;)

I agree with you completely and am even more of a novice than you... I'm only on batch #13 after 10 months of brewing (with three more that will hopefully be started in the next 5-6 weeks). With my current position in life, owning my own business and doing something I love is very enticing. But I think I'd be a fool to jump into right now without enough experience and knowing that I can produce a consistently good product. I don't think I'll ever be done asking "what if we did it this way?" Starting a business with a relatively small market in a largely untested product is very risky.

brian92fs
09-20-2011, 11:57 PM
Also keep in mind that equipment is only one portion of the bigger picture. Working capital requirements can often be higher that the equipment itself. Remember, in addition to equipment you'll need to buy all the ingredients, bottles, labels, corks, etc and spend 4 - 6 months in production (minimum) before you have anything available to sell. And then you'll need to figure out how to sell it. So until you start selling product, all that money is tied up.

Regarding experience, not sure how important this is. I've been talking with Ian, and he only had a dozen or so batches under his belt when he started. Making mead on a commercial level is different than making it as a home mead maker. That said, I'm sure more experience can't hurt.

AToE
09-21-2011, 01:15 AM
I don't think any particular amount of experience is necessary, just some more than totally zero is probably a good idea.;)

Business skills will undoubtably be more important than mead making skills. Any business is like that, it's not always what you sell, it's how you sell it. Still, I'd want to have the absolute best possible product because that industry is difficult enough as it is.

Guinlilly
09-21-2011, 09:05 AM
The more experience you have the (at least here in the states) the more apt a bank is to give you the start-up loans needed to start the business as well. It definitely isn't an easy process and I don't think it is one my boyfriend would have decided if he didn't have professional brewing experience as well as 15+ making mead. You need to love it.

TheAlchemist
09-21-2011, 11:05 AM
;) Thanks for the advice and reality check. I know I'm dreaming at this stage. I'm just having one of those 'Horse before the Cart' moments.

I have always thought that putting the horse first with the cart to follow makes sense.

AToE
09-21-2011, 01:56 PM
I have always thought that putting the horse first with the cart to follow makes sense.

;D Why didn't I catch that?!

wayneb
09-21-2011, 09:39 PM
;D Why didn't I catch that?!
Could it be because you're used to thinking unconventionally? ;)