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How to Turn a Useless Building Into Craft Beer Cash

how to turn a useless building into craft beer cash

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Published date:

September 06, 2016

Last updated date:

September 06, 2016

By Manny Manriquez

by Mark Bingaman Photo courtesy of Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog Perhaps you often glance at an old warehouse or antiquated old barn you own and then moan that you'll never be able to sell or develop it into anything of interest. Or maybe you're searching for land to buy or acreage for sale right here on and spot a piece of property for sale at a great price...but what the heck would you do with what seems like an otherwise useless structure sitting on that land? Well, take a moment, kick back, and imagine the suds flowing and the kegs filling inside that very same structure. What? Yep, that's what we're talking about. A brewery. Commercial Real Estate for Breweries The commercial real estate sector is frothing over at the opportunities brought on by the phenomenal growth of the craft beer industry and its insatiable demand for not only storefronts and retail space, but also a strong need for acreage in industrial parks and even long-abandoned buildings and factories. To better understand what segments of the craft beer sector could find your property attractive, it's important to note that the industry is divided into three segments:
  1. Microbreweries produce fewer than 15,000 barrels annually and locate chiefly in small, single-tenant industrial buildings or multi-tenant industrial complexes.
  1. Brewpubs operate as a combination of a restaurant and brewery and are typically located in a retail restaurant space.
  1. Regional craft breweries are independent operations that normally desire large, single-tenant industrial warehouses.
An October 2015 research report by Colliers International called “Craft Beer Pours Into Commercial Real Estate” notes that all of these operations normally require industrial-type space with infrastructure able to fulfill their thirst for higher than average access to water, sewage, and power systems. The report states that “Through the re-purposing of space, it is not uncommon for a brewery to set up operations in an antiquated industrial building. These opportunities are often sought out because they are usually cheap to acquire or lease, bring a sense of character to the brewery, and have the potential to offer tax incentives through revitalization efforts.” Microbreweries Land for Sale The number of breweries in the United States is expected to increase by an annual rate of 7.1% between now and 2020, with more than 400 new breweries in the planning stage, demanding a total of three million square feet of commercial real estate. Across the country, Chicago is currently the capital of the craft beer industry with approximately 1.6 million square feet devoted to craft brewing. Smaller areas with the largest rate of annual growth Charlotte, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, and the state of Vermont. The ability for craft breweries to proliferate and succeed in any area, and provide economic benefit to those communities (in addition to bringing back to life otherwise blighted buildings) makes the industry an attractive target for investors seeking opportunities as they search for acreage for sale, investment property, and lots for sale in most any spot in the country. And, if you already own commercial real estate of this type, it may be time for you to market it as such, both with pitches to investors and right here on  Sources: Colliers International: Craft Beer Pours Into Commercial Real Estate The Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland's craft-beer industry drinks up vacant real estate

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