Homebrewing has become a popular hobby over the past few years, and knowing how to brew your own beer isn’t such a mystery anymore. In fact, homebrewers are now looking for ways to make money from homebrewing beer, if only to recoup the costs of raw materials and equipment.
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You might already have thought to sell and distribute your homebrewed beer, but once you start doing this, you’re already considered a commercial brewer.
This means you’ll have to get various permits and licenses, not only a liquor license to sell alcoholic beverages, but also permits to even produce the beer at volume.
All these permits and licenses, as well as the various inspections required to obtain these permits, cost even more money.
In today’s post, learn some tips on how to make some money from homebrewing beer; probably not enough for you to do this full-time but at least provide some side cash to allow you to continue your hobby without straining your budget.
How To Make Money From Homebrewing Beer
Before I go any further, note that this article assumes that you’ve been homebrewing your own beer for a while and have extensive knowledge and experience in it.
The different ways to earn side cash from homebrewing are divided below into 6 different categories.
Probably the simplest thing you can do to make money from homebrewing beer is to write about it.
If you’re going into writing to earn some side cash, the first thing you need to do is to create your own website and start a blog. You’ll need your own space to post your portfolio and where potential clients can contact you to commission an article.
Next, hone your keyword research and SEO skills so that your articles can be indexed by search engine bots and increase the probability that those who search for your article can find it.
Then, find blogs, magazines, and journals focused on homebrewing beer (such as Brew Your Own magazine) and reach out to them for an opportunity to write articles and posts for them and get paid.
You can also earn money through sponsored blog posts where you write about whatever product or service they want you to feature.
Drive up the popularity of your blog such that you have a few thousand views monthly, and then reach out to companies who sell homebrewing-related merchandise: equipment, raw materials, containers, storage, etc.
Another way you can get paid for your writing is to write an eBook and sell it on your website as well as on Amazon. You can either write an extensive homebrewing tutorial eBook or compile your recipes into a cookbook.
2. Affiliate marketing
If you already have a modestly popular website and a blog, you can also go into affiliate marketing.
In case you’re not familiar with it, affiliate marketing is the process of promoting other retailers’ products or services through your channels in exchange for a commission.
Since you already have your niche (homebrewing) and tend to write articles all about that on your blog, being an affiliate for homebrewing-related products is just one more step you have to take to start making money through homebrewing.
Perhaps the simplest program to join is Amazon’s affiliate program, called Amazon.com Associates. This program is good for raw materials, such as malt and hops, as well as small equipment, such as fermenters and filters.
There are also specific affiliate programs in the homebrewing and beer niches, which are a Google search away.
Affiliate marketing allows you to practice and hone your marketing and sales skills without having to maintain an inventory.
However, your income is limited to your commissions, which are determined by the affiliate programs.
3. Selling homebrewing materials and equipment
A more direct way to earn money from homebrewing beer is to sell essential supplies to other homebrewers.
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You might not be able to earn consistently from selling equipment, because they tend to last long before they need to be replaced.
By contrast, selling raw materials may be a more viable way to earn, as raw materials are consistently used up and those that aren’t, quickly expire, so homebrewers tend to buy these more frequently.
You might also want to sell homebrewing kits, wherein everything homebrewers need to produce a batch are all included.
You can sell through your own website, which allows you to control the quantity and quality of your inventory, how you market your products, and how much profit you take home per item.
However, it does require you to be very hands-on: from contacting suppliers and ordering from them, to setting up your online store and generating traffic to it, taking payments, shipping out orders, and customer service.
Selling on third-party e-commerce sites such as Amazon or eBay, on the other hand, gives you the chance to place your products on a high-traffic website and get them in front of more potential buyers, increasing the chances that they will buy your products.
The downside is that you have less control over which products are marketed, how they’re being marketed, and at what price.
If you’re naturally inclined to teach or create learning materials, you can use these skills to earn some side cash from homebrewing.
Creating online courses on homebrewing on your own website or on MOOCs can be a source of recurring side cash. You only have to create the course material once and update it periodically, while aspiring homebrewers continually ordered your courses.
If you want a more practical teaching gig, you can set up your own small classes in a venue where you can demonstrate homebrewing in-person to your participants. Include a handout and their very own homebrewing kit so they can brew their batch at the same time.
You can also check nearby local community colleges if they have openings for short-term instructors to teach homebrewing to students.
If you’re already writing in your blog on your website, think of vlogging as another avenue to create and present content and earn more side cash.
Some ideas for videos include step-by-step homebrewing tutorials of how to brew different types of beer, troubleshooting homebrew processes, answering FAQs, and features of other popular homebrewers.
YouTube is still the most popular vlogging platform for monetization because it has been around the longest and it’s the most established.
You can apply to show YouTube ads on your videos, but some content creators who have tried this have reported that YouTube doesn’t pay much for content that’s not considered “family-friendly” content.
Homebrewing may be considered a banal hobby to many, but since it involves alcoholic beverages, it may also be considered an “adult” hobby.
You might have a better chance of making money by going into affiliate marketing and then using your YouTube videos to promote these affiliate links.
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Read up on Google/YouTube Terms of Service as well. In practice, though, YouTube is pretty tolerant, especially if they are few and relevant, (i.e., directly related to the subject of the video), they are unshortened and properly labeled as affiliate links, the links are not overemphasized, and if the content is valuable and high-quality.
These will allow you to fly under the radar. Remember, though, that YouTube will target your video and your channel if they decide that the only purpose of your channel is to push your affiliate links to your viewers and drive traffic there.
The same strategy, that is, promoting through your YouTube channel, can also be done if you’re selling from your own website. YouTube can be a bit more forgiving if you link to your own website as opposed to affiliate websites.
6. Licensing out your recipe
If you happen to concoct an awesome recipe or recipes, you can actually benefit more from it aside from making yourself these delicious brews.
You can license out your recipes to third-party distributors, such as Noble Brewer, who will take care of contracting professional craft brewers to produce beer from your recipe.
The distributor then sends out shipments containing bottles of beer produced from different homebrew recipes to craft beer enthusiasts who crave something different per month.
When you’ve been homebrewing beer for a while, you probably know enough to be a consultant.
Answer questions from other homebrewers, help bars and restaurants with their beer selections, and even work up to lending your expertise and knowledge to medium- to large-scale breweries.
If you’ve already started with your own website, blog, and/or vlog, you’re already a step ahead as you’ve probably demonstrated your knowledge and addressed some common concerns of homebrewers.
The next step is to actually broadcast that you offer a consultancy service and to contact you for details. If you haven’t already, set up a contact form on your website so those who have inquiries can easily contact you directly.
If you start receiving inquiries from bars and pubs, then so much the better, but you can also do the outreach yourself. Start local and expand the area covered by your outreach so you don’t get overwhelmed early on.
The more successful consultants sincerely aim to improve beer culture in their area through supporting other homebrewers and promoting all the best brews that the community has to offer.
Start Making Money From Homebrewing Beer Today!
One of the biggest perks of brewing your own beer is that you never have to buy beer again, but hopefully, you’ve learned that you can also earn some side cash from homebrewing.
Turn Your Homebrewing Hobby Into A Business!
If you’re a homebrewer who has a real passion for the art and craft of brewing beer, you might dream of owning your own brewery or taproom and turn it into a business.
When you’ve figured out that you have enough time and money to pursue brewing as a full-time business, here is our guide on how to start a brewery.
Which method of earning side cash are you interested in doing? Are there any other monetization methods that I haven’t mentioned? Tell us in the comments!