5 Steps to Opening a Brewery


Welcome to Our Brewery-Building Journey! We’re diving in and remodeling our historic building, developing our website, and launching our new blog. We’ll keep you up-to-date with brewery happenings, craft beer industry news, beer and food pairing tips, behind-the-scenes Q&A’s, and more. Really, whatever tickles our fancy for the day.

Though we’re still several months away from opening our doors at Common Block, we want to share a bit about what we’re learning along the way. We’re calling it: 5 Steps to Opening a Brewery, but you could also call it An Oversimplified List of All the Things to Keep in Mind When Jumping into the Huge Endeavor of Opening a Brewery. Because – wow – there’s a lot to do. And it’s also ridiculously fun. Which is why we’re throwing a few highlights your way…

Step 1: Decide to dedicate your life and time to craft beer. Sure, this sounds like the easy part. And in a sense, it is. We’re doing this because we love joining together over craft beer and good food, and we can’t imagine wanting to do anything else. It’s also time-consuming, tiring, mind-boggling, fun and rewarding. It’s a complicated range of emotions, and we promise we won’t spill any tears into the brew tanks (whether they be of exhaustion or joy).

Step 2: Assemble a team of people who feel the same way. There’s nothing quite like geeking-out around a table about a topic we all love. Talking about making good beer while drinking good beer is about as good as it gets in our minds, and we spend hours discussing the smallest brewpub details because, heck, they matter.

Step 3: Pick a location for your brewery. Make it one that you love, because you’ll be spending a lot of your time there. We knew from the beginning that the history and style of the Monarch building was exactly what we wanted for our vision of Common Block. Love for craft beer is universal, and breweries succeed in all kinds of settings from alleyways to main streets, from strip malls to immense campuses. Make sure it’s a place you love and feel connected to (but maybe not your mom’s house, if that’s what you’re thinking).

Step 4: Develop an idea and feel for your place. Will your focus lie in brewing great traditional styles, or pushing the envelope with new ingredients and varieties? Will you serve food, or call on local food trucks to bring by snacks for hungry fans? Personally, we’re looking to brew ales with Pacific Northwest ingredients, make food from scratch in our prep kitchen, create a kid-friendly atmosphere, and roll up our big garage doors to let in some fresh air. Mmmmm, we can see/smell/taste it now….

Step 5: Complete the following steps #6-782. No kidding, the list is actually huge. We just couldn’t put that in our post title (who would read 782 Steps to Opening a Brewery? Well, we would, but we’re nerds). The list of things to do is ridiculously long. Gathering permits, finding equipment, writing proposals, submitting plans, generating recipes, and picking the right color of paint for the ceiling. But it’s also fun. Like, outrageously fun.

Stay tuned for more news on Common Copy Blog. Thanks again for joining us as we jump head first into everything Common Block!