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Five Mistakes that Can Destroy Your Brewery

Learning to understand the financial language and rhythm of the brewery is key to avoiding mistakes that can put your future in jeopardy.

Mary Brettmann Jul 25, 2018 - 8 min read

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Owning a brewery is truly one of life’s joys. You get to do what you love daily, and you have the admiration of your friends, family, and the general public. Everyone thinks that you are cool. It is easy to get lost in the urgent while forgetting the important—the business needs of the brewery. Accounting seems like such a chore. It is very rigid and very easy to make mistakes. Smart people in suits are often speaking a language that you barely understand.

So, it is understandable that the accounting system is the last thing on a brewery owner’s mind. I’m here to tell you that this is a huge mistake. Every brewery has an operational heartbeat and an accounting heartbeat. For either heartbeat to make real sense, you’ll need to listen to both simultaneously. I often tell my clients that without money there is no beer, and without beer there is no money. Money and beer are the yin and yang of your business.

The operational heartbeat is easy to hear. If the boiler breaks, you can see the steam escaping, and it will call to you to fix it. If the silo gets plugged, all brewing stops until it is fixed. These problems are obvious, and you give them your immediate attention. The accounting heartbeat is much harder to hear. In fact, you can almost ignore it and become deaf to the business side of your company. It is a mistake, but there isn’t an accounting boiler that will make noise and demand your attention. You will need to listen carefully and learn its language. It is only when you are comfortable in “accounting” that you will truly run your business.

Mistake #1 Giving Control to Something or Someone Else

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