The Devil Is In The Spreadsheet Details

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm working away on my business plan now.  This is where all of my preparations and research from the past 18-24 months are really starting to pay off.  The key to getting good, solid numbers in a business plan is a detailed spreadsheet(s) with all the possible costs and revenues entered as accurately as possible.  The first thing I'm working on, since it's the easiest and it's easing me into the business plan mindset, is the cost of each batch of beer.  To get that number as accurate as I can, I have the actual costs of grain and hops from the latest pricing sheets from our regional wholesaler.  These costs include shipping costs/lb and exactly how much of each grain will be in each recipe.  I also know what to expect for monthly utilities so I'll be factoring in things like water and gas into each batch's cost. Not enough flair!

This recipe cost worksheet in the spreadsheet will actually calculate the amount of grain based on the brewhouse calculation formulas I learned in brewing school and the percentage of each in the recipe.  These formulas rely on entering numbers from malt analysis sheets for each type of malt or adjunct, which I have.  So I'll be able to enter constants like batch size, system losses, estimated brewhouse efficiency,  and desired starting gravity (how much fermentable sugar I want the beer to start with), and the spreadsheet will spit out the exact cost of a recipe's ingredients.  This kind of detail will not only help me create an accurate financial picture for a potential commercial bank to analyze, but it will also be something I can keep an eye on once the brewery is up and running to keep my business on track.

I'm not fucking around here!