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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through October 04, 2004 * How many homebrewers? < Previous Next >

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George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 124
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 05:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anybody have any reliable stats on the number of homebrewers in North Ameria? Or someplace to find such. From a business perspective, how large is the market?
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 692
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 05:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There is some information on the web site of the Home Beer and Wine Trade Association that claims between 500,000 and 1,000,000 homebrewers in the US. I don't know how they arrive at these numbers, nor do I have Canadian figures, which would be swelled by the number of brew-on-premise operations where the BOP brews the wort and the customer comes in and pitches the yeast. Moreover, I'm not sure whether someone who brewed an extract batch or got a Mr. Beer kit a couple of Christmases ago counts as an active homebrewer.

Another possible source of information is the American Homebrewers Association. E-mail Paul Gatza and ask.
 

George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 125
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Bill. I've got an idea for a product that I think might be useful. I'm trying to put together a little preliminary business model to see if it's even worthwhile to spend the time and money for the patent application.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Geoff Buschur
Member
Username: Avmech

Post Number: 145
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 06:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What is it? I won't tell anyone.
 

Bill Moore
Member
Username: Bill_beerman

Post Number: 204
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 12:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George,
Home Brewers will buy anything.
Your success is assured.
FWIW, patent applications are now taking about 2-3 years to get through the process. They're also relatively easy to get around.
My software patent took 2 years to get and that was about 7 years ago.
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 548
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 01:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have foregone patents as $5000 wall decorations. They don't prevent someone from copying your stuff. They only give you the right to spend money suing someone.

There has only been one product of mine that was stolen. Phil's Phaucet Adapter was directly copied by Fox Equipment. They didn't change a single dimension.

Dan Listermann
 

George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 128
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 03:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was thinking about that $80 provisional individual patent. Just filing the application gives me, I think, 18 months to decide what to do and see if I can make a go of it.

I'd be happy if I could just make enough money to support my brewing habit. Problem is, that it's plastic and the injection molds would cost about $100,000, plus about ten bucks a throw, for a product I'd like to sell for $25. I've got to decide whether I can make that back in a reasonable enough time to satisfy a banker.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 550
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 03:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

At $100 grand for tooling and $10 material cost for a $25 retail item, you have some fancy justification to do.


Dan Listermann
 

George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 129
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You're telling me Dan. That doesn't even include distribution or admin costs. I might be able to do a little better, those are the top estimates I received. I'm trying to use the most pessimistic ones for the model, then be suprised at success, rather than the other way around.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 551
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know a fellow who has Chinese connections. he might be able to help you.

Dan Listermann
 

Stephen Manchester
Member
Username: Smanches

Post Number: 125
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 08:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My dad gets injection molding tooling done for about $40,000 a pop. He makes harnesses for snow plows, and the connectors are all custom injection molding. They have thier own press, but they have to outsource for the dies to make any new connectors. He's in Upper Michigan.
 

Ken Anderson
Intermediate Member
Username: Ken75

Post Number: 406
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan, the China connection has put a lot of American mold builders out of business. China can build molds for what we have to pay for the raw steel. This isn't directed towards you Dan, but when it comes to money, patriotism goes out the window. Hey, doesn't this belong in the World Expressions directory?
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 552
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 11:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My friend, our machinist, got his Chinese connections while outsourcing his company's products. The company's very survival was on the line. Their only choice was to go to China or go out of business. My friend eventually was laid off as he had done his job so well. It was a blessing in disguise. He now runs his own machine shop and import company.

"Reality, what a concept?" Robin Williams

Dan Listermann
 

Ken Anderson
Intermediate Member
Username: Ken75

Post Number: 407
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George, did you get any info from BP's source? There is a related question which I've always wondered about. That is, what percentage of brewer's frequent the boards? My guess is less than 5%.
Ken
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 1023
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George, you and Dan just need to get together on this new "product". Joint venture?
 

George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 130
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ken, I emailed Paul late last night. Haven't gotten a response yet, but I wouldn't expect one yet, either. I'll let you know.

Like you, my first thought about the Chinese connection was to cringe. I'd rather stay domestic, but if it comes down to a choice between not getting off the ground or outsourcing the mold, I know which way I'd go. I'm just a middle-class guy with 4 kids, a mortgage, car payments and soon-to-be college tuition. Gathering the start-up capital will be my major hurdle. After that, I'm not as concerned about the per unit cost. Besides, wherever I got the tooling work done, I'd most certainly operate it close to home which would provide work for a local company or hire a press operator of my own (probably not as likely, but I can dream). It's too early in the process to make these kinds of decision, anyway, I'm still trying to figure out if there's a market to support it.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 553
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 01:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George, you just described me when I started out in 1991 - 4 kids and everything. We have two in college with a third coming on soon.

Dan Listermann
 

Patrick C.
Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 170
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 01:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How complex is the part? Unless it requires slides, collapsing cores, or some other complex tooling you should be able to find a shop that can do a prototype 'relatively' cheap. Is it possible for you to mold a blank and machine out features that would simplify the tool? That may allow you to get started for less.
I'm counting the last 5 minutes as actually working.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 696
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 01:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, let's be generous and assume there are one million people in North America who might buy homebrewing equipment. Now let's say you might be able to convince one percent of them that your $25 product is so indispensable that they would buy it. That's 10,000 units and sales of $250,000.

If the material cost is $10 per unit and the tooling costs are $100,000 (another $10 per unit), that's only $5 per unit potential profit, and you haven't considered other production, advertising and administrative costs. You're not going to reach a very large audience on the online homebrewing discussions, and you would receive a lot of criticism for the self-promotion.

You can easily see why reducing the tooling costs and the option of offshore production are so appealing. Often the margins are razor-thin and make the difference between success and failure.
 

Colby Enck
Junior Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 52
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 02:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I want one!

(I love the gadgets )
 

BiggBrewer
Junior Member
Username: Biggbrewer

Post Number: 47
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 03:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As an analyst, most manufacturing companies I cover have a gross profit margin of about 40%. If you assume that this would be reasonable for a business plan, you would need to count on 20,000 units to ammortize the $100,000 over. Or if you depreciate it over 7 years, approximately 3,000 units a year. Also that doesn't account for electrical, rent and labor allocated to production costs.

Of course the other way to improve your gross margin would be to raise the price.
 

PalerThanAle
Senior Member
Username: Palerthanale

Post Number: 1128
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I already got one...

PTA
You don't stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing.
 

davidw
Advanced Member
Username: Davidw

Post Number: 665
Registered: 03-2001
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"What?"

"He says he's already got one?!?"

"Are you sure you've got one?"

"Oh yes, it's a very nice!"
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 554
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 04:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

May we see it?

Dan Listermann
 

Pacman
Intermediate Member
Username: Pacman

Post Number: 463
Registered: 04-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 05:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, u-- um, can we come up and have a look?

Of course not! You are English types-a!

Well, what are you, then?

I'm French! Why do think I have this outrageous accent, you silly king-a?!
Damn Brewing's Fun!!!! Kölsch Krusader!
 

davidw
Advanced Member
Username: Davidw

Post Number: 667
Registered: 03-2001
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 05:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Heh heh! Doesn't take much to get going . . .
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1002
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 08:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think it's a wort wizard...

Good luck George!
 

Colby Enck
Junior Member
Username: Thecheese

Post Number: 54
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 08:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's funny, I just picked up a bottle of Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale ("Tempered over burning witches"), made by The Black Sheep Brewery. I thought it was amusing, but haven't had it yet. I'm not expecting much, but...

Maybe it has elderberries!
 

PalerThanAle
Senior Member
Username: Palerthanale

Post Number: 1129
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 12:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>I'm not expecting much

Then you will still be disappointed. Nice..., ummm, bottle. That beer made it right into the insinkerator. bleeech

PTA
You don't stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing.
 

Mark Bushey
Junior Member
Username: Spiff95

Post Number: 91
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 02:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I fart in your general direction..."
--Artificial Intelligence is no match for Organic Stupidity.