Helios Brewing Company

Starting up a craft beer brewery


We have taken the dive to start up a brewery!

Yes it is exciting, but also slightly frightening.

You know that point in decision making when you are totally committed. You are at the point where you can’t turn back. The point where it means it’s real. It’s actually happening. When you decide you are going through the amber light instead of stopping. All systems go! That’s where we are now and here is our story.

The brewery idea was conceived separately by each of us. ‘Us’ being Scott, Tony and Jayne. We each love beer and work as environmental specialists in the resources industry. The environmental industry is quite small, and we all worked together at some point in time over the past 8 years.

With his passion for great beer, Scott had been planning this for some time. Scott is a project manager and environmental engineer in the gas industry. Scott was the founder of the Helios Brewing Company and he had taken the initial huge steps to develop the Helios brand, purchase a suitable property and to start the long process of getting Development Approval from the Council.

And yes, Tony and Jayne are married, and make up The Rutter’s portion of the Helios Brewing Partnership. The Rutter’s loved the thought of owning a brewery but to make that jump was risky, especially with three small children. But, when Tony’s position as an environmental specialist in the gas industry became redundant, the brewery idea starting to become a viable option.

Through mutual friends, Scott heard that The Rutter’s were toying with the idea of a brewery and The Rutter’s heard that Scott was looking for a business partner. So, over a few beers in late 2016 we discussed a partnership to become co-owners of Helios Brewing.

Sounds like a simple process, but in fact the actual legal side business partnerships is complicated. We needed a lawyer to draft up the agreements, then we had to read through the agreements… yawn…. and understand what they actually meant. Then pay $1000s of dollars for the lawyers fees. It still wasn’t simple. There are business names, constitutions, trust agreements, partnership agreements and discretionary trusts. Each with enough terms and conditions to make your head spin. It was painstakingly boring to review, but it was important. We learnt that Google was not overly helpful when trying to understand what certain terms mean or types of business structures. It was handy to have knowledgeable accounting and business friends who can help out.

Everyone we talk to says we need to make sure this part is set up properly, but the complex web of trusts and business names is confusing. We are still getting out heads around what entity needs a TFN or an ABN.

Lessons learnt, get a trusted accountant, get a lawyer and expect to pay.