Craft breweries in America bave bubbled up from an offbeat semi-hobby to a flourishing industry served up mainly by small businesses. Along the way, the brewers developed a good head for business and learned some basic lessons that helped them bottle success. Here’s a round of four tips—cheers!

1. Put quality over quantity.

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(Image: via wikimedia commons)

Learn everything you can about the industry before you pop the top. The Craft Beer Industry has grown remarkably because brewers discovered that beer drinkers are willing to pay more money for a higher quality beers and ales.

2. Know the law.

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(Image: via wikimedia commons)

There are regulations for everything, so find out which apply to your business idea. Craft brewers, for example, have to have deal with myriad federal, state and local alcohol laws. Consulting a business lawyer may be a smart move.

3. Creativity counts!

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Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 10(Image: on Flickr via Speed-Light)

(Image: on Flickr via Jmcunnin2000)

From labels to marketing, craft brewers run creative rings around mega-brews such as Budweiser. Their edgy and witty approach makes the big guys look, well, flat and dry. Pour some creativity into your logos, labels and marketing so you stand out.

4. Write a solid business plan.

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(Image: on Flickr via Musebrairain)

After you’ve done your research, write a solid business plan. Think through every aspect of the business and don’t overlook hidden costs, faulty assumptions and other wishful thinking. Don’t let your passion overflow your good sense.

Spencer O’Bryan, a craft brewer in Denver, admits he learned firsthand about the need for a strong business plan for his brewery: “Our concern is making great beer that we love, not making a buck. But in reality, unless you have an extremely detailed way to track and predict finances, you won’t be able to make great beer for very long.”

(Featured image: via wikimedia commons)

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