In this FDD Talk 2016 post, you’ll learn the following:
- Section I – Background information on the Brass Tap franchise opportunity, including relevant news updates
- Section II – Estimated initial investment for a Brass Tap franchise, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2016 FDD
- Section III – Presentation and analysis of the Brass Tap’s financial performance representations, based on Item 19 of the company’s 2016 FDD, including information on the:
- 2014 and 2015 average unit volume for the franchised Brass Tap Bars that were open and operating for at least 12 months before December 31 of each year and had a full liquor license and a full kitchen
- 2014 and 2015 average unit volume for the franchised Brass Tap Bars that were open and operating for at least 12 months before December 31 of each year and did not feature a full liquor license or a full kitchen
Section I – Background Information
The Ultimate Beer Bar
The idea for the Brass Tap started in 2007, when three partners from the food industry decided they wanted to develop “The Ultimate Beer Bar.” A year later in 2008, they opened The Brass Tap in Wesley Chapel, Florida. This first location opened at the Shoppes at Winegrass and the idea was to have a beer bar with an upscale feel to it. They opened a second location a few years later in 2010 in Brandon, Florida. The Brass Tap officially began franchising in mid-2012.
Each location offers a couple hundred craft beers from both national and local brands. In addition to their wide range of craft beers, they offer premium wines and cocktails. Expansion for the brand has been slow and steady. Today, they have 36 locations. Though most of their bars are located throughout Florida, they do have a location in Colorado Springs, CO, San Antonio, TX, Baltimore, MD, and Mesa, AZ.
Craft Beers and Upscale Snacks
The Brass Tap, whose goal is to stand out from traditional bars, is dedicated to showcasing craft beers. According to The Brass Tap’s research, the craft brewing industry grew by 12% in 2010 while overall U.S. beer sales were down by 1%. In that same year, craft beer sales totaled 7.6% of all beer sales, which amounted to about $7.6 billion.
The founders of The Brass Tap wanted to capitalize on the emerging craft beer market. They knew that craft beers appeal to a wider demographic than traditional beers and that today’s consumers enjoy novelty and the experience of trying out new and interesting beers. They designed The Brass Tap to be a premium beer experience and each location keeps 60 to 80 craft beers on tap. They also offer 200 varieties of imports, local craft beers, a selection of premium wines, and cigars.
Though not all Brass Tap locations have a full scale restaurant or kitchen, many of their locations do offer a wide variety of snacks. Just as with their beer, their food menu offers unique and upscale items. On their menu are fresh baked pretzels, pretzel pizzas, prime rib nachos, a variety of burgers, street tacos, fresh Angus Sriracha chili dip, and chicken tempura sliders.
Your New Local Hangout
Although The Brass Tap offers a premium food and beer experience, they want their bars to have a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. They make sure that all of their staff are passionate and knowledgeable about beer and that they are eager to offer advice to customers about their beer selection. The owners of The Brass Tap want their bar to be a place where friends hang out.
In addition to food and drinks, they offer daily entertainment. They have live music from local bands. Each Brass Tap location also has multiple high definition televisions that play all of the major sports.
The Brew Crew
To encourage customers to explore all of their beers, The Brass Tap started a loyalty club called The Brew Crew. Joining the club costs $15, but as you rack up points, you receive various rewards. Members of the club earn one point for each one of The Brass Tap’s 300 craft beers.
One of the perks of The Brew Crew is receiving exclusive apparel as you earn points. Members are given a Brew Crew shirt upon joining the club. As members earn points, they receive shirts that signify their level like “Rookie” or “Beer Guru,” and also earn monetary reward cards that range in value from $10 all the way up to $200.
Members also receive discounts on special Brew Crew member days every week and during other special events and occasions.
Having Fun With Girl Scout Cookies
Since the people at The Brass Tap are so passionate about beer, one of the things they enjoy doing is offering suggestions for beer and food pairings. During the Spring 2016 Girl Scout Cookie season, The Brass Tap came up with beer pairings for the Girl Scout’s famous cookies.
Some of their suggestions included Thin Mints with a Porter, Samoas with Hefeweizen, Do-si-dos with an oatmeal stout, Tagalongs with a nutty brown ale, and Trefoils with an American wheat ale.
Since The Brass Tap is dedicated to a premium experience, they haven’t really pushed large scale expansion. They are still a very small franchise and haven’t experienced enough growth to rank on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list. Since they started franchising in 2012, they haven’t yet landed a spot on the annual list.
Section II – Estimated Costs
- Please click here for detailed estimates of The Brass Tap franchise costs, based on Item 7 of the company’s 2016 FDD (updated).