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Old 04-09-2007, 06:49 PM   #11
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I think it's an interesting idea that could be fun to do on the side, without trying to make it into a full-time gig. With that said, I would be shocked if the costs of getting licensed to do this legally were not far too high to make this practical.

Regarding the issue of wives disapproving of the concept; if this REALLY took off, you might want to also offer wine and/or mead. You might need to build up some "inventory" of the latter, but since you're like us, you probably would have a lot fermenting anyway

As to the alcoholic uncle; OK, you might not sell to every couple, but that doesn't mean it's a bad idea.

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Old 04-09-2007, 06:55 PM   #12
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I think the alcohol sales is going to be the killer as others mentioned. Don't know about CT but a lot of states will require you to have some kind of license to sell the brew on premises and I don't know if they'd let you do that from your home either. The permit could be anywhere from a few hundred to well over a thousand depending on how puritanical your state alcohol laws are.

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Old 04-09-2007, 07:04 PM   #13
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First, I have received booze as a gift at a wedding. It's not that uncommon. Given that its a wedding, Uncle Al wouldn't have any problem getting a drink from the open bar, let alone the 1 bottle he's getting as a gift.

Second, maybe the wedding example was a bad one to start with, but when it comes to wedding favors, the bride and groom are always looking for 2 things: cheap and unique. This idea is both, and would taste good too.

The possibilities are endless. Anniversary parties, graduations, Birthday parties (30th, 40th, 50th, etc.)

Also, this is not a on- or off-premise sale. It's a private sale from brewer (caterer) to consumer. The consumer can dispense freely, but cannot re-sell. And again, I'm not sure the product would qualify as alcohol, based on the size of the operation, and the raw materials.

I really do appreciate the responses. I guess I'm surprised at how many responses are not in favor of the idea. Am I the only one who wishes I was the next Pete's Wicked or Sam Adams?

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Old 04-09-2007, 07:16 PM   #14
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If the barriers to entry are as low as you imagine, then prepared to be crushed by someone else or at the very least have your profits marginalized.

My guess is that the licensing body has some production threshold that you will be taxed against and this will be an amount that will make easing into this impossible. They just won't have the mechanisims to tax people on this unless there is some volume production. And no, I doubt there is a small volume exemption.

I hope I'm wrong. Good luck.

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Old 04-09-2007, 07:23 PM   #15
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I don't think any of us are wishing ill will towards you, we're all just pessimistic based on our (limited) knowledge of the booze-production laws.

Drop a dime and call City Hall; at the very least, they should be able to tell you who to call at the state.

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Old 04-09-2007, 07:29 PM   #16
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We have three tier laws here, so if the government won't get you, the industry will. In effect you cannot sell directly to the customer, you must go through a distributor.

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Old 04-09-2007, 08:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
We have three tier laws here, so if the government won't get you, the industry will. In effect you cannot sell directly to the customer, you must go through a distributor.
Those bastards....

WRT the original idea, I think it's a great one and join the others in wishing you well. Perhapse instead of marketing your beer as a party favor, you should offer to "cater" the open bar. As you've mentioned, you've just sold your beer to the couple who then offers it at an open bar. You could probably sell way more beer that way rather than giving a single bottle to each guest. You could still have a "theme" and a cute custom nickname like you talked about, but you'd only need a single sign vs lables on each bottle. I'm doing this for my little sister's wedding except that I'm providing all the beer myself as my gift to them and am not selling any of it.

This may increase your profit margain and actually make the cost of the license feasable.

Let us know what you come up with.

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Old 04-09-2007, 08:08 PM   #18
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My idiot friends are constantly saying we should go pro, just to shut them up I looked up the laws involved. Note this is in New Hampshire, not one of the friendliest states to new brewers. And also note that I am going from memory, I looked it up to quiet my friends and didn't bother righting it down.

A brewing license for less than 5000 barrels a year is about $1,250/year. Getting the license is difficult.

Liability insurance is required, another $50,000/year.

Each barrel produced is taxed $30.

That's what I can remember for just producing, New Hampshire allows you to sell without a distributor, but you have to apply for the right. I would love to open a brewpub, but I would have to be either independently wealthy or have a real good friend who was.

Wine makers apparently have a much easier time, they can sell without a license or insurance at farmer's markets, though I imagine most get the insurance anyway.

As for selling for the wedding/special occasion crowds, it's not a bad idea if it's legal. I know some photographers that start out just hitting the wedding expositions, booth space is much cheaper than buying advertising.

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Old 04-09-2007, 08:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
We have three tier laws here, so if the government won't get you, the industry will. In effect you cannot sell directly to the customer, you must go through a distributor.
Same in TX which is what I based my response on... breweries cannot sell directly to consumers here. I think if you are small enough you can bypass the three-tier but still you must sell to resellers directly not consumers. Only brewpubs can and they must sell on premises (which usually means they are a restaurant also).

More to the point - investigate your laws and see how difficult your state makes it for you. If you can sell directly to consumers without hassles then you should go for it.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:16 PM   #20
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I should add that, in AZ, you can get a license to sell your beer at your location that is much more reasonable. Chimone posted on that awhile ago.

The operative thing here is "sell at your location". Has nothing to do with any other production licencing or oversite.

EDIT: Same as above.

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