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Old 04-14-2008, 02:32 PM   #1
dirtymike1
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Default Selling my beer!!!!!

Does anyone here sell any of there brews? Who knows the laws and such (depending on the state that you live in) to be able to sell. A friend of mine in VA Beach is looking at buying a bar and asked me what it would take to sell my beer?! This might go from hobby to business if I can play my cards right!!!

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:37 PM   #2
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You gotta do it legal- Selling to a bar is a sure way to get the ATF and the IRS on your ass.

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:38 PM   #3
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I have no idea about your state, but we talk about it here on HBT at least once a week. It's a dream for many of us!

I just did a search on the forums, and came up with a few threads to get you started:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=55841
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=33052
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=55972&page=2
and my all time favorite read:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=11411

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:39 PM   #4
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It's illegal to sell homebrew.

What you can do is become an employee and brewmaster for the pub though.

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtymike1
Does anyone here sell any of there brews? Who knows the laws and such (depending on the state that you live in) to be able to sell. A friend of mine in VA Beach is looking at buying a bar and asked me what it would take to sell my beer?! This might go from hobby to business if I can play my cards right!!!
This is a regular topic around here. The long and the short? You'll need a license from the state ABC, which will run you in the thousands of dollars. This license also requires, if I remember correctly, that you have a working professional brewery that complies with OSHA regs, etc, and that you brew something on the order of 10,000 gallons/year at the very least.

In other words, brewing up a few 10-gallon batches on your patio and selling them to your buddy who owns a bar is not feasible.
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:43 PM   #6
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There have been a number of extensive threads on this topic....might want to just dig through

http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=43788
http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=42439

http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=41527
http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=43120
http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=55841
http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=50308
http://homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=44935

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:45 PM   #7
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You have to sell a lot of homebrew just to cover your licensing fees and other bull crap taxes before you even make one penny of profit.

I've thought of it, but then it will become work instead of a hobby I enjoy.

Bee Cave Brewery will become a reality this month, but it will remain a private amature venture for my own enjoyment as well as my guests. No tip jar needed.

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:55 PM   #8
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Not to rain on your parade at all, but I just feel like people ask this question about once per week without even considering how difficult or how much a PITA it will be... Aka, they aren't very serious, but pretend to be....

If you are truly planning on doing this, you best start your research and it best be more than asking HBT for their opinions. Further, it's probably going to be a few years before you can put your "business plan" (drafting one of those up should probably be your first goal) into action.

From the little I've researched and read, you'll need to acquire the appropriate licenses, be inspected by the FDA or other health organizations, etc. Further, you are definitely going to need to expand your brewery beyond 5-10g batches, if you want to do this seriously. Equipment = money, so get that business plan drafted and hope a bank will finance you (unless you are really loaded). You'll need boiling equipment, fermenters, and conditioning tanks (SS isn't cheap), you'll need a bottling line or kegging line if you plan to distribute, etc. You'll need a location... you probably can't run something like this in a garage (and make any money).

Then of course, you probably don't want to go through all this hassle to sell to your one friend's bar. You are going to want to sell to many bars and distribute... So, you better have a good marketing plan and some good beer - beers that have probably taken medals, etc. would be best, but aren't 100% necessary. Many professional brewers have attended schooling at USC-Davis, Seibel, etc. and REALLY know their stuff. Wayyyyy beyond what most of us understand from reading 6-10 homebrewing books...

It's definitely not going to be as easy as that cell-phone commercial makes it look where you just go out and start soliciting bars to take your beer... so if you are serious, it will be a while before you "sell" your first legal beer. If you have just recently started brewing (45 posts?), I would say you have a ways to go before you'll be able to make this into a successful "business". Also, keep in mind, turning a hobby into a business may not always be the best idea...

I wish you luck, God knows I wish I could just up and quit my job and open a brew-pub, but I just don't have the ability (read: my bank account is pretty good, but not THAT good!) to quit my job, nor do I think I am a good enough brewer after only 1.5 years brewing with extract and 6 months brewing all-grain, to really make a go of it. Maybe in 10 years or so...

If you asked simply out of curiosity, cool, but run a search and the question has been asked MANY times (with only a very select few honestly taking it on) but if you are serious, then I would get serious... There is some good knowledge on this board, but you'll definitely need to go outside the board also. And like I said, it you are serious, go at it full-bore starting now. It's going to take a little while to do this correctly.

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Old 04-14-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
This is a regular topic around here. The long and the short? You'll need a license from the state ABC, which will run you in the thousands of dollars. This license also requires, if I remember correctly, that you have a working professional brewery that complies with OSHA regs, etc, and that you brew something on the order of 10,000 gallons/year at the very least.

In other words, brewing up a few 10-gallon batches on your patio and selling them to your buddy who owns a bar is not feasible.
Why didn't I just type this... would have saved myself paragraphs. This is exactly what I was trying to say, but in 5,000 less characters. Ha-ha.
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:56 PM   #10
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Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.......

I hate how the Fed's and the State have to have there hands in everything. Well I'll see if I can talk him into converting it into a brewpub insteed of just a bar! He's the one with all the money anyway.

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