How to Become a Gypsy Brewer

If you’ve been thinking about shifting from home brewing to starting your own brewery, or you’re just dipping your toes into craft brewing at all, you might be interested to learn about how to become a gypsy brewer.

What Is Gypsy Brewing?

Gypsy brewing is what a brewer does when you scale up from home brewing and need access to larger facilities in order to make larger, or more, batches of beer, but you don’t have your own facilities.

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You may be in transition from home brewing and not yet ready to build your own brewery from the ground up. Or you simply want to scale up your home brewing business and have no interest in owning your own brewery.

Either way, you would contract the facility of another brewer and use their brewing room and equipment to brew your beer for a fixed fee.

You can do this with one or several different breweries.

The Benefits of Gypsy Brewing

The benefits of gypsy brewing include not having to pay the overhead of starting up your own brewery or the monthly maintenance fees – leases, rent, utilities, and more – that come with running a facility of your own.

You take on much less risk when you practice gypsy brewing, and you can test the waters with larger batches of a home brew you expect to do well. You can also get a taste for what it might be like to run your own brewery as you will get a front row seat to the operation as you work with local brewers willing to let their space and equipment to you.

How to Become a Gypsy Brewer

If you think gypsy brewing might be for you, take a moment to consider a few factors.

Things to Consider:


Obviously, not every brewery is going to be willing to let their space and equipment to you, and even if they are willing, they might not even have space for your project. It will take some hunting and lots of conversations, so be sure you are striking up those talks with brewers you like and whose goals are aligned with yours.

The Size of Your Batch and of the Facility

In brewing, there’s this thing called an MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. This is the minimum you will need to produce of a batch in order to test the waters with your market. Knowing what your MVP is before you begin talking with local brewers is essential so you know what size facility you will need.

Also note that every brewery is not created equally, so take a walk through before you get a contract, so you can be sure they have the equipment you’ll need.

The Location

Emphasis here on “local.” You are not going to want to drive several hours to your contracted brewery just to do a gravity reading or a mid ferment taste. If you want to keep your hands on your craft beer, make sure you pick a brewery close to you.

Supporting Services

Look into what kind of supporting services your brewer might offer, like off site storage and keg hire. Those extras can really add up.


You may not make any money on your first run as a gypsy brewer, but you don’t want to end up too far in the hole. So be sure you take a look at the fixed fee and all your other expenses before you agree to anything. The prices has to be right.

If you’ve considered all the factors and you’re ready to go, here are your first steps to becoming a gypsy brewer.

First Steps:


Get it on paper, get it signed, and get it notarized. No matter how much you like the brewer, a handshake just won’t do in business anymore. And anybody with a legitimate business will understand this. Get a contract on hand before you start any production.


You’re moving up from home brewing to gypsy brewing, so start scaling up for your larger brews.


While ordering ingredients for your home brew might have been simple and easy, scaling those ingredients up, with the same quality and pricing, might be a bit trickier. So shop around and lock in your ingredients suppliers.


Many breweries will allow you to operate under their license, which means they will do the invoicing and chasing down those who have not yet paid. That gets old really fast when it’s not your business, so it is in your best interest to continue good relationships to just get your own licensing in order and take responsibility for all your own housekeeping. You, and your brewery, will be glad you did.


Now start factoring in your budget, preparing for profit and loss, and following your progress. Make sure the pricing works every step of the way so you know when to scale up and when to scale back.

In the end, if you’ve found success as a home brewer, and you love what you do, gypsy brewing is a smart way to make the transition and scale up just a bit without making the huge leap into running a brew house.

Who knows? You may find brewers and brew houses you work with so well, that you decide to simply stay in gypsy brewing for the long haul. You can run an incredibly successful business with multiple products in high demand as a gypsy brewer. And you can always decide to scale up and go for it with your own brewery. Or scale back and return to the easier life of home brewing.

There’s literally no downside.


Have you decided to become a gypsy brewer? Then implementing a proper quality control program is the next natural step. If you’re interested in finding out how you can use our technology to control fermentation and monitor your yeast, save work hours and improve the cost-efficiency of your business, drop us a line at [email protected] or check out our product pages:

Also, you can now get access to a fully functional demo account to test your yeast via our Web App. Completely free of charge and with no commitment to purchase.


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