Brewery Setup

How To Set Up Your Own Brewpub/Brewery

With Anjali Batra from Food Talk India enjoying DIPAs in Dublin (March 2017)

A question that I get asked quite frequently on the blog or in person is how does one set up a brewpub?

States in India that currently allow microbrewery set ups are Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh & Odisha. Delhi to open up shortly.

Excise laws vary from state to state. This blog post will cover the basics of setting up a brewpub in Karnataka only. For other states, please contact me to put you in touch with the right resources. However, equipment basics stay the same.

The Basics

Step 1 – Business Plan

  • Chalk out a Business Plan after conducting market research and securing your funding.
  • You will need to set aside 6-8 Crores. Ideally 8-10 Crores is ideal for metros like Bangalore.

Step 2- Find a suitable location

  • For a brewpub, you must have a minimum of 10,000 sq feet. There are several other regulations that follow once you meet these basic criteria.
  • Your location choice will affect your sales metrics (see below)
  • Structural load can be anywhere between 25-50 Tons (Point Load) depending on the configuration.
  • Electrical load can be anywhere between 80-120 Kilowatts.

 Step 3 – Estimate Volumes

  • How many covers (pax) will your outlet have per day? How many rotations? Hence, what is the average number of covers per day (considering rotations)?
  • A consumer will drink on average of 1.25 liters. (Karnataka). Otherwise assume 0.85 L/person.
  • How many different varieties of Beer are needed? Most brewpubs have either 4 or 6.
  • How many house beers do you plan to have? How many seasonal beers?
  • 50-60% of your sales will be Wheat Beers – German style Hefeweizens or Belgian Wits. Plan your capacity accordingly. Lagers, Pilsners, Blonde/Golden Ales tend to also sell well. Hoppier beers such as IPAs and darker ales such as porters and stouts do not typically sell as much.
  • Fermentation or the time from Grain to Glass should be a minimum of 15-21 (Ales) days or 30-40 days (lagers) to ensure there is no “green” Beer on tap. Primary fermentation is just the first step of metabolizing sugars. This also produces undesirable flavors. Secondary fermentation or maturation involves the reduction/removal of these undesirable flavors by action of the yeast or other organic pathways. Rushing this process produces green beers.  Green Beer is Beer that has not been conditioned properly and may have several off flavors and lack proper finish.
  • Volumes will vary depending on location. Top performing brewpubs in Bangalore at the moment sell anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000+ liters of Craft Beer/month.
  • Revenue can be anywhere from 1.25-2.5+ Crores/month.
  • Once you have figured out your strategy, you can proceed to look at Brewhouse equipment.

Step 4 – Brewhouse Equipment

Please refer to the Blog Post about Brewing first to understand the overall process.

Equipment Tips:

  • Stainless Steel components should be SS 304 (Food Grade). All other components should be food Grade. Have a Pro Brewer inspect the welds and other surfaces to check the finish. Improper welds and so forth can lead to contamination.
  • European/American equipment is expensive but reliable.
  • Chinese equipment (if sourced properly) is less expensive and equally reliable.
  • Indian made equipment is less expensive and equally reliable. Support local – help put India’s equipment on the global Craft Beer map!

Mill& Malt Room

  • To convert malt to (grist)
  • Space to store malt in hygenic conditions (ideally temperature controlled).


  • Steam or Electrical.
  • Steam – Multi Step Mash which is a traditional method of mashing at various temperatures to ensure maximum enzyme development. Enzymes help break down starch in malt to fermentable sugars that you need to produce alcohol. However with today’s modern malts, this is not really required but some brewpubs still use this method for beers such as their hefeweizens or ones with a high percentage of unmalted ingredients.
  • Electrical – Single Step Mashing – Mash at one temperature. Modern base malts have a high diastatic power (enzyme) content. Electrical systems are cheaper.


  • Mash Tun/Lauter Tun/Brew Kettle
  • Fermentation Tanks (Primary Fermentation)
  • Maturation Tanks (Secondary Fermentation)
  • Bright Beer Tanks (BBTs)
  • CIP (Clean In Place) Tanks
  • Cold Water Tanks
  • Hot Liquor (Water) Tank (If steam driven)

Physical Heat Exchanger (PHE)

  • For wort cooling before transfer to fermentation tanks


  • Glycol Chillers which maintain temperatures of the fermentation, maturation and BBT’s


  • Only needed if Steam Driven

PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)

  • Process Controller for the brewery

Pipes, Valves, Motors, Pumps, Gauges, Meters and Wires.

  • Ensure items in contact with Beer are food grade.

Beer Dispensing Equipment

  • Flash chillers, Dispensing towers & taps, Beer lines

Trained Staff (Brewery only)

  • Brewer
  • Assistant Brewer
  • Lab Tech
  • Cleaning Staff

Step  5 – Microbrewery License 

Please note that these figures are estimates only. Please consult the Excise department for up to date figures.

  • Apply for a  CL- 9 (Bar & Restaurant License) first. (6 Lakhs on paper). However, the government hasn’t issuesd a CL 9s in years. You will have to buy one or lease one from an existing owner (2-2.5 Cr)
  • After Brewhouse is completed, apply for a Microbrewery License – 2.5 Lakhs on paper and in reality up to 1 Cr)

Excise Duty (

  • Excise Duty for Microbreweries ~ Rs 20. per Liter.
  • Flat Tax – 50% of the annual installed Capacity at the rate of Rs.5.00 per bulk liter. The definition of the Installed Capacity keeps changing. Please check the current excise policy for up to date rates.

Step 6 – Other Licenses

  • All other licenses to be in place before applying for microbrewery license – these are all the standard licenses required for operating a restaurant. There at least 16-17 other licenses that need to be in place ranging from pollution certificates to QC certificates.

More Information

Fill out the contact form and I’ll be happy to give help connect you to the right resources to help get your project off the ground.

Consultancy/Services Provided

  • Brewing Equipment Configuration/Selection
  • Beer Recipe & Brewing Calendar Development
  • Pre-Launch Batch Testing/Evaluation
  • Branding
  • Beer Menus
  • Beer Related Events
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Staff Training

For more details, please send me an email or call:

John Eapen 

Email: | Mobile: 8861477327

All Images Courtesy: Tales Of Froth or otherwise indicated


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