Industry All Access Exclusive

Shop Smart: Expert Tips for Buying Used Brewhouse Equipment

Buying equipment is one of the most expensive things a brewery can do—and the process is fraught with risks. Here are some dos and don’ts from two experts on evaluating, buying, and transporting major gear.

Kate Bernot Jan 9, 2023 - 10 min read

Shop Smart: Expert Tips for Buying Used Brewhouse Equipment Primary Image

Even when buying used, manufacturer techs can be a good investment when reassembling something as complicated as a canning line. Photo: Courtesy Casey Hughes.

Within a five-year span, Brew Theory founder Jeremy Roberts opened a contract brewing facility in downtown Orlando, Florida, expanded with another production space in Lowell, Massachusetts, and has plans to fire up another 50,000-square-foot operation in Sanford, Florida, by March.

All of this requires a lot of equipment—much of which Roberts has purchased used at auction.

“If the auction markets stay like they are today, it’s the way to go,” Roberts says. “You can outfit a nice packaging hall and brewing facility with what’s online today. If I get priced out in one auction, nine times out of 10 there’s another auction coming up in two to three weeks that has what I need.”

Access All of the Brewing Industry Guide

Subscribe today to access all of the in-depth brewing stories & advice you won't find anywhere else (including this article). Subscription includes unlimited access to every brewing report, brewing course (60+), article, video (55+), magazine issue (40+), and more.