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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > what does it take to legally sell my beer?
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default what does it take to legally sell my beer?

just curious. i can't really find much info on it. i live in indiana, and a local liquor store that sells homebrew equipment, ingredients, and has a weekly beer tasting,is interested in my stuff. the owner has been really nice to me, giving me free bottles, letting me use his mill from time to time, so in return i've always given him a bottle or two of each of my batches. he told me the other day that he'd like to be able to sell it out of his store, because he thinks it's really good, and my brewery name/labels are very marketable, and he thinks they would sell.

i also know an owner of a local brew pub that is interested in my beer for the same reasons.

what does it take to legally do this, and what's the up front cost? i'm talking super small time here, i'm not looking to make tons of money, and i'm not really interested in doing it "full time" or for a living, or anything like that. just looking for a way to legally allow my beer to be sold by a few local stores/pubs.

is that even possible, or is it simply "go big or go home?"

thanks.

brian

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Old 10-23-2007, 03:35 PM   #2
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I don't know all the answers, but the first place to check would be with your state licensing agency (probably the ATF deparment). You would need a license to brew and distribute. You would have to pay taxes based upon your production. You will also have to have your labels approved by the Feds I believe. You can set it up to where you rent brew time at a local micro and have them produce it to your specs then have it distributed. I know someone in CA that does/did this. It is fairly involved to get set up, but once you do get everything in place the rest isn't too hard.

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Old 10-23-2007, 03:44 PM   #3
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Most liquor control laws are state laws. You'll need to look up the specifics for IN. Generally, the licensing process is a giant pain in the ass, quite expensive, and rather out of reach for someone who only plans on brewing part time. Often there is a 10,000 gallon minimum for annual production, which completely sinks guys like us.

You'll never know until you try - start reading up on the local laws, and good luck!

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Old 10-23-2007, 03:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoiv
I don't know all the answers, but the first place to check would be with your state licensing agency (probably the ATF deparment). You would need a license to brew and distribute. You would have to pay taxes based upon your production. You will also have to have your labels approved by the Feds I believe. You can set it up to where you rent brew time at a local micro and have them produce it to your specs then have it distributed. I know someone in CA that does/did this. It is fairly involved to get set up, but once you do get everything in place the rest isn't too hard.

you know, that's a great idea. i never thought about that. there are several micro breweries around town/the state that i could get in contact with. i feel like i've really created a great beer, and it could be enjoyed by a lot of people. it might sound silly, but i'm more interested in getting a good beer out to the masses than i am with running a business, and trying to make money with it. i think i'll try hitting up the local breweries with a sample of my brew, and see if any would be interested in buying the recipe from me, and selling it themselves.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian williams
you know, that's a great idea. i never thought about that. there are several micro breweries around town/the state that i could get in contact with. i feel like i've really created a great beer, and it could be enjoyed by a lot of people. it might sound silly, but i'm more interested in getting a good beer out to the masses than i am with running a business, and trying to make money with it. i think i'll try hitting up the local breweries with a sample of my brew, and see if any would be interested in buying the recipe from me, and selling it themselves.
Most likely, they'd be interested in you renting their equiptment and brewing it for sale at your own risk. I doubt they'd want to canibalize their own sales.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:50 PM   #6
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I think your biggest challenge in that case would be scaling the recipe up and adjusting it to their equipment/system to make it come out exactly like your small scale batches do.

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Old 10-23-2007, 03:52 PM   #7
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My fiance works for the Small Business Development Center here in Corpus but it's a nation wide thing. They've got all the permit info and stuff like that and it's a free service.

So, I'd suggest calling them up and maybe making an appointment. This should help:

http://www.isbdc.org/default.aspx?ac...CountyId=62002

(she looked up the brewpub permits and stuff needed in Texas for me...just for kicks)

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Old 10-23-2007, 04:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian williams
you know, that's a great idea. i never thought about that. there are several micro breweries around town/the state that i could get in contact with. i feel like i've really created a great beer, and it could be enjoyed by a lot of people. it might sound silly, but i'm more interested in getting a good beer out to the masses than i am with running a business, and trying to make money with it. i think i'll try hitting up the local breweries with a sample of my brew, and see if any would be interested in buying the recipe from me, and selling it themselves.

Brian, you, might want to check with the folks at Great Fermentations, they are located on East 65th Street off of Binford Blvrd they may have the info you need. You could also get in contact with the folks at Barley Island in Noblesville, they are nice enough people, if they can't help directly I'm sure they would point you in the right direction.

Also here is a link to a Indiana Liquor Law FAQ.

http://www.in.gov/atc/faq.html

and the actual Code information, articles 3 and 4 are probably what you are looking for.

http://www.state.in.us/legislative/ic/code/title7.1/
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