Craft Brewery Consulting, Accounting
and Financial Strategy

Call us a brewery consulting firm, a financial agency, a business liaison, a strategic advisor… whatever you like. Most importantly, we help craft breweries grow profits. Our team of brewery consultants and financial experts exists to augment yours and accomplish exactly that.

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.

Late 1980s/Early 1990s

In The Beginning

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.

Late 1980s/Early 1990s

Mid 1990s - Early 2000s

The Emergence

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.

Mid 1990s - Early 2000s

2012-ish through 2015

The Big Bang

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 is good.” The numbers bore this out, with a 2012 → 2014 doubling of craft market share which led to an insane new trajectory of ~650 new microbrewery openings each year through 2016.

2012-ish through 2015

Late 2017 - Current

The Plateau

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.
Late 2017 - Current

The pro vs. amateur Separation

This latest craft plateau has acted as a Great Leveler. It’s separated the wheat from the chaff (pun intended). 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: there is a path forward for those who are willing to walk it.

More than a few breweries have decided to act and Turn Pro.

In fact, we work with them every day.

The Head of the Class Breweries 
distilleries and craft partners we’re privileged to work with

The Act Of Turning pro Is A Decision

These breweries have Turned Pro. But what they’ve done 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.
  • The ability to turn a profit and generate cash flow, while maintaining their independent spirit and expressing their creative freedom.
  • 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.

So in line with our non-conformist brewery consulting approach, here’s the full blueprint. Exactly what that Pro vs. Amateur philosophy looks like in practice.

turning pro brewery comparison

Turning Pro: Are you running your brewery like an amateur?

Steven Pressfield wants your brewery to turn pro. So do I. Here’s what I mean. It won’t surprise anyone who hasn’t been living under a …

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taprooms cooler wicked barley

Taprooms: Growth Guidance from the World’s Best

This is Part 1 of our Growth Guidance Pro Tips Series and includes our top insights on what powers the world’s best taprooms. So welcome! Like we …

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outside sales roadmap dcbrau

The Brewery Sales Pro Tips: High Performance Outside Sales

Welcome to Part 2 of our Growth Guidance Pro Tips Series where we shift the focus to brewery sales. (In case you missed it, we want …

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brewery marketing no excuses creature comforts

The Brewery Marketing Pro Tips: Growth Guidance for Demand Creation

This is Part 3 of our Growth Guidance Pro Tips Series and we’re talkin’ brewery marketing. And it’s the one area of focus that can …

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breweries risk minimize image

How Professional Breweries Minimize Risk (Growth Guidance Pro Tips Part 4)

This is Part 4 and final piece of our Growth Guidance Pro Tips series. And we’re here to discuss risk. More specifically: What can we …

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bent water pro brewery example

What It Takes To Turn Pro: The pro vs. amateur brewery difference

New England is surrounded by beer giants… some of the biggest names in the industry. And more specifically, Massachusetts is now home to over 200 …

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Growth guidance for Owners + Operators

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. Unlike most brewery consultants, compliance is just the baseline that sets the stage for our real objective: profitability and sustainable, long-term progress. And our numbers-first brewery consulting approach is specifically designed for craft owners looking for industry-leading growth.

The Brewery Benchmarks Assessment

"I was pleasantly surprised as Chris’s breadth of knowledge in the beer industry helped improve ALL aspects of my business. Thanks to Chris, my brewer is making better beer, my sales rep is focused on her key accounts, and my back office is running smoothly. On his most recent visit, Mr. Farmand was able to identify $100,000 in savings in our brewery operations."
Dan Bilzor
Managing Partner
Bone Hook Brewing

The Numbers Powered Growth Service

"Chris and the Small Batch Standard team are an integral member of Wicked Barley. We consider our relationship a partnership. Chris has been there every step of the way to help offer guidance for key financial decisions as well as operational questions. His team has demonstrated invaluable knowledge in the brewery industry and has kept us from flying blind."
philip maple
Philip Maple
Co-Founder & Brewmaster
Wicked Barley

Our Craft industry Service

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 Front-Line Craft Industry Insights

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.

cash flow webinar thumb

The Brewery’s Cash Flow Contingency Plan: Webinar Replay

Below you’ll find a replay of the coronavirus cash flow contingency planning webinar we held on Thursday, April 2nd, which walks through the cash flow …

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cv tax credits thumbnail

Guidance on Federal Tax Credits from The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Last week the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed into law, which provides two federal tax relief options available to us. Below are a …

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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. Head over to our insights page to subscribe.

"A huge THANKS to you for these emails!! You have opened my eyes to what it really takes to be a professional brewery owner. "
brian oliver testimonial
Brian Oliver
Co-Proprietor & Head Brewer
Poseidon Brewing Co.

Teaching Through Presentation

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.

"I wish we would have discovered your material 10 years ago. Following the lessons we learned, our taproom was up in 2018 70% over 17. So far this year, we are up over 100% over 2018."
karlos knott
Karlos Knott
President
Bayou Teche Brewing

If you’re ready To Explore whether
Small Batch Standard can help your brewery Turn Pro

Then we should determine how we can best help by having you…

  • Fill out our discovery survey and share some information about your brewery and what you're looking for.
  • From there, we'll schedule a short exploratory call to discuss your situation and discover where we can help.
  • We'll determine whether we are a fit to work together and will walk you through the options we recommend either way.