Brewery Consulting, Accounting, and Financial Strategy For Craft

Small Batch Standard is the premier financial agency built to serve the craft brewing industry.

Our team of brewery consultants, accountants, tax specialists and industry experts are here to help breweries like yours grow, profit, and thrive.

"Since we started working with Small Batch Standard, we’ve had triple-digit growth across our bottom line. It’s wild. I never imagined I’d see results like that."

Read the full case study

"Since we started working with Small Batch Standard, we’ve had triple-digit growth across our bottom line. It’s wild. I never imagined I’d see results like that."

Read the full case study

The Craft Gold Rush Is Over

Today we find ourselves in an unforgiving, competitive craft market. The demands on owners and operators have escalated. The barriers to success continue to stack up. The business model has evolved.  The game has changed.

In The Beginning

Late 1980s – Early 1990s

There were the pioneers. And in the decades that followed Fritz Maytag, a few hundred early entrants got in for the love of the game. Low volumes, small accounts, and healthy dose of mom-and-pop culture kept the movement alive, despite an anemic 0.1% market share.

deschutes brewery
deschutes brewery

The Emergence

Mid 1990s – Early 2000s

A trickle of market share starts to go to the likes of Sierra Nevada, Boston Beer Company, Dogfish Head, et. al as “micro” is replaced by “craft” and we see early signs of growing demand and the emergence of the Beer Geek.

The Big Bang

Mid 2012 – 2015

In 2012, it happened. The craft market exploded and anyone with a home brew recipe and a dream was getting in. Brewery consultants, vendors, and financiers start to overrun industry conferences, a sure sign the “getting was good.” The numbers bore this out, with a 2012 to 2014 doubling of craft market share which led to an insane new trajectory of 650 new microbrewery openings each year through 2016.
beer kegs
beer kegs

The Plateau

Late 2017 – Current

Today, the game has changed. The business model has evolved. The market has saturated. What was once felt like brewing on easy street is now hard ass work. The level of competition is higher than ever. And now we’ve hit the plateau. Simply put: the Craft Gold Rush is over and breweries are feeling the heat.

The Pro vs. Amateur Separation

This latest craft plateau has separated the wheat from the chaff.

No longer can breweries survive without the financial wherewithal, operational skill, and finger on the pulse of the consumer. We’ve seen this bear out in real time. The slow decline of the “average,” while the cream – those who have taken the challenge head on – rises to the top. The market is speaking.

Our contention is, that despite the challenges, there is a path forward for those who are willing to walk it. We call this, the Pro vs. Amateur Separation.

The good news? This transformation is fully under your control. Turning Pro is a decision. More than a few breweries, distilleries, and craft beverage producers have decided to act and Turn Pro. In fact, we are privileged to work with them every single day.

What they’ve done though, isn’t the result of luck, untouchable talent, or a massive bankroll. Instead, they’ve made a choice. And that choice has afforded them the opportunity to trailblaze their local markets by doing what they do best: brewing and distilling incredible liquid.

It also affords them the ability to turn a profit and generate cash flow, while maintaining their independent spirit and expressing their creative freedom, as well as the option to eventually step outside of the day-to-day grind and occupy a true ownership seat in the business.

This is the output of a relentless focus on the habits of success: intelligent decision-making, discipline through processes, and accountable action. And it’s formed the philosophy that underpins everything that we do.

Expert Guidance And Back Office Support For Craft Owners And Operators

Our ultimate aim is to get craft owners and operators back to what they got into the business to do in the first place: brewing delicious beer, building a legacy, and creating memorable experiences for their customers. We help our craft partners achieve these objectives through financial discipline, strategy, and intelligent decision-making, which enables the business, the brand, and its owners and employees to reach their full potential.

The Impact of Craft-Specialized Expertise

Over the past decade, we’ve had the privilege to work with 100+ craft breweries across the U.S., helping them achieve significant bottom-line improvements while streamlining their operations.

In doing so we’ve identified, refined, and tested a repeatable set of strategies, tools, and processes that work regardless whether you’re brewing deep dark stouts, wacky IPAs, or crisp traditional pilsners.

industry expertise beer
industry expertise beer

"Chris and Small Batch Standard have been instrumental for growing our business. We switched to SBS after being open for about two years. Their knowledge and guidance has allowed us to tighten up our systems and processes, letting us concentrate on growing our business."

justin cox
Justin Cox
Founder and CEO, Atlas Brew Works

"Chris and Small Batch Standard have been instrumental for growing our business. We switched to SBS after being open for about two years. Their knowledge and guidance has allowed us to tighten up our systems and processes, letting us concentrate on growing our business."

justin cox
Justin Cox
Founder and CEO, Atlas Brew Works

The Expert Team That Makes It All Possible

Unlike most brewery consultants, we have a world-class back-office team that ensures the numbers and compliance foundation (bookkeeping, accounting, tax) is solid as a rock.

This is the baseline that sets the stage for our real objective: profitability and sustainable, long-term progress. And so in this way, our numbers-first brewery consulting approach is specifically designed for craft owners looking for industry-leading growth.

"Chris and the Small Batch Standard team are an integral member of Wicked Barley. We consider our relationship a partnership. They have demonstrated invaluable knowledge in the brewery industry and has kept us from flying blind."

philip maple
Philip Maple
Co-Founder & Brewmaster, Wicked Barley
the sbs team

"Chris and the Small Batch Standard team are an integral member of Wicked Barley. We consider our relationship a partnership. They have demonstrated invaluable knowledge in the brewery industry and has kept us from flying blind."

philip maple
Philip Maple
Co-Founder & Brewmaster, Wicked Barley
the sbs team

The Brewery Benchmarks Assessment

The path to profitable growth is paved with the ability to take consistent Intelligent Action. This comprehensive assessment is designed to help you identify that path, and establish where your brewery stands with respect to the benchmarks we’ve established across the key functions of the brewery.

The output of this process distills a decade of data and collective wisdom down into clear, actionable recommendations that you and your team can use to make those intelligent, hard, game-changing decisions we speak so highly of.

The only question then is: Are you willing to make them?

southern grist beer
southern grist beer

"We had a true apples-to-apples comparison to other breweries that was invaluable to validating our business direction in response to the challenges of 2020. This is feedback and benchmarking you just can't get anywhere else."

Read the full case study

"We had a true apples-to-apples comparison to other breweries that was invaluable to validating our business direction in response to the challenges of 2020. This is feedback and benchmarking you just can't get anywhere else."

Read the full case study

Our Numbers Powered Growth Service

For most breweries, the numbers are the “uncomfortable unknown.” Owners rely on the local CPA or the jack-of-all-trades, in-house bookkeeper to prepare the financials they use to make the most meaningful decisions in their business.

In practice, those indicators lag far behind real-time performance and are rarely reliable inputs. This means those key decisions are instead made based on gut feel, with some after-the-fact course correction thrown in the mix.

Numbers Powered Growth is our foundational brewery consulting and accounting service designed to help our craft partners make those industry-leading decisions. Are you one of them?

"We went from a company that didn’t know if it could be self-sustaining, to having best-in-class operating earnings. Chris and Small Batch Standard are the periscope to our future, a sounding board for the present, and a microscope on our past. "

Read the full case study

"We went from a company that didn’t know if it could be self-sustaining, to having best-in-class operating earnings. Chris and Small Batch Standard are the periscope to our future, a sounding board for the present, and a microscope on our past. "

Read the full case study

Strategic Insights, Resources, and Conversations From The Front Lines of Craft

We’re also here to study and serve the industry. We believe that a rising tide lifts all boats and through open publication of our thinking, findings, and resources we aim to make a serious and positive dent in the craft universe. You’ll find more real, practical, hard-hitting information here than anywhere else in the industry, and we want you to leverage this “consulting from afar” into breakout success, whether or not you ever work with us.

Our Foundational Craft Resources

Our decade of observation, study, and direct experience isn’t just reflected in our team and service, but also in the information we publish. The best of which you’ll find below. When newcomers first come across SBS and ask, “Where do we start?” This is where we send them.

typical breweries image

What do I find when I look inside the typical brewery?

I have visited breweries all over the U.S. More than I can count, or really remember. What I do know is they span the whole …

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The Craft Beer Marketing Playbook: Principles for effective revenue generation

This craft beer marketing “playbook” comes from an alternative perspective. Not colored by any “pet” theory or approach, it’s instead a collection of observations from …

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intelligent action breakdown

The Intelligent Action Series: The brewery’s pathway to profit through decision-making

Last week I gave you my Crystal Ball predictions. And I littered that bad boy with the theme for 2020: Intelligent Action. Now it’s time …

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brewery organizational chart perfect org 2012

The Brewery Organizational Chart: Right Seats, Right People

To kick off Part 2 of the Ownership Bottleneck Series, let’s start with the brewery organizational chart I was a proponent of back in 2012. …

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Real-Time Insights Through Weekly Email Publication

We regularly publish our best insights, extracted from our direct front line experience, feedback, and observation of craft industry. This is not the place for patronizing, feel-good stories, but instead the (sometimes hard) truth owners and operators need to hear. You’ll find our most recent publications below.

waterfall leadership

A Look Inside Part 4: Vision and Leadership in The Typical Brewery

This is Part 4 of our journey through the typical brewery: what we see, what should be there, and what the implications are on profit, …

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A Look Inside Part 3: The Typical Brewery’s Distribution and Operations

This is Part 3 of our journey through the typical brewery: what we see, what should be there, and what the implications are on profit, …

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When you subscribe to our email list, you’ll receive both weekly insights like these as well as our quarterly email series as we publish them. If you are open-minded, ambitious, and dedicated to building something significant, we’d love to have you with us.

"A huge thanks to you for these emails!! You have opened my eyes to what it really takes to be a professional brewery owner. "

Explore our recent insights

"I wish we would have discovered your material 10 years ago. Following the lessons we learned, our taproom was up over 100% so far this year. "

Teaching and Learning Through Industry Collaboration

Our commitment to craft also extends into the brewers guilds, organizations, and service partners that help move craft forward as a whole. We regularly speak and present our learning throughout the year at events and conferences. We also partner on webinars and educational programs for owners and operators.

If you’re interested in having us speak at your event, or explore content partnership opportunities, please contact tom@sbstandard.com to discuss.

Ready to Explore Whether

Small Batch Standard

Can Help Your Brewery?

Tell us a little more about your brewery
and book a short exploratory call
with the SBS team.

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