Cost Vs. Time — What is “Best Left to the Experts?”

When it comes to creating a new brewery location, be it a new production facility or a taproom in a new market or just down the road from your current space, there are a lot of legal and technical issues that can arise. You may have been through much of this process before in your brewery’s first location, so you might feel better prepared than the first time. But does that mean you should go for it alone without expert help?

Brewer sought insight on this and got the view for both sides of this question.

Big Grove Brewery doesn’t have a lawyer on retainer, so for anything legal, explained COO and partner Dave Moore, it’s weighing cost versus time. 

“The cost of a mistake costs you more time,” he said.

The brewery also uses First Key consulting on its brewery expansions, now number four locations in central Iowa. 

READ MORE: The Paperwork Needed for Switching Locations

“Bringing on experts for expansion has helped us skip trials and tribulations we would have experienced otherwise because they’re experts in what they do,” Moore said. “Companies like First Key have helped make it so much easier for us. 

“Even the consultants who seem expensive at the outset often help you get money ahead with your project.” 

Utah’s Shades Brewing is in the process of moving locations and evaluating space and COO Trent Fargher said he didn’t feel it was necessary to work with a consultant in this instance when it came to legal documents.

“It is basically checking boxes and if you provide the documentation they are asking for it is pretty straightforward,” he said. “If you fight them then it is more difficult. You capitulate no matter how stupid you think the requirements are and everything moves pretty smoothly. 

“You can hire an expert but I think that is just a waste of money unless you don’t have time to do the work. I found you always have time — you make the time — especially when money is on the line.”

Photo courtesy Big Grove Brewery

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