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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > General Chit Chat > Theoretically, say a brewery wants to brew my beer…
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:08 PM   #1
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Default Theoretically, say a brewery wants to brew my beer…

Now, theoretically, say one of my brewmaster friends of one of the brewery’s I visit really likes one of my beers in particular. Likes it so much that he thinks it will win awards. Theoretically, lets say that he wants to have me and him brew up that recipe using the companies large scale equipment from start to finish.

He then wants to enter it into one of the major competitions in hopes of winning an award and would pay for everything (including an extra medal for me), and give me fair credit. Now, theoretically, let’s say that I agree. What would I have to do to both protect myself and my beer. Should I ask for money if it becomes one of the brew house’s beers? Do I need stuff in writing, is there a form for that?

Help, I’m theoretically thinking this would be a huge step for me and I’m slightly in awestruck. Sorry if this is the wrong spot for this theoretical question.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
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Theoretically, lest they use your name on the label (Ex:GuitarGods Amber), it's no longer be YOUR beer.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:29 PM   #3
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Home brewers brew with commercial brewers all the time. It is not typical, in fact it may have never happened, to get royalties or other monetary compensation.

I doubt they will give you money, under any circumstances. If you want to be able to drink the beer for free every Tuesday or have the brewery put your name in their newsletter, I would think a verbal agreement is appropriate.

If you are going to have hurt feelings based on what might happen, I would recommend not participating.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post
If you are going to have hurt feelings based on what might happen, I would recommend not participating.
In all honesty, I would be glad with either my name on the beer or a mention that it was my beer or my recipe or something. I trust the theoretical guy and don't think feelings will be hurt. If I did, I would theoretically do it.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:41 PM   #5
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I'm not sure you have any way to protect the recipe (by a patent for example) other than keeping it a secret. Patents require that the item in question (in your case your recipe) be "nonobvious" meaning that the recipe, when followed, leads to an unexpected result.

So when someone follows your recipe they get beer = non-patentable
If someone followed your recipe and got a drug that cured cancer = patentable.

That is why many brewers keep their recipes/processes secret.

You could probably get the brewer to sign a confidentiality agreement to keep the recipe between the two of you. However, there probably isn't anything you can do if the brewer, once he knows your recipe, decides he want to make the beer as part of the brewery's lineup. In addition to not having patent protection, it would be hard to prove that the beer they ultimately end up making at the brewery was really from your recipe in the first place.

That doesn't mean your recipe isn't worth anything, but what exactly it IS worth is the question. If you are serious about getting something out of this deal, you should probably hire some sort of lawyer to negotiate a deal.

Me, I'd probably just be excited to see one of my recipes be brewed at that level and be stoked to actually see it on tap at the bar!

What do you want to get out of this deal exactly???

Disclaimer: I'm no lawyer and don't pretend to be....

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:43 PM   #6
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Sounds like a fun learning experience.
Here is a thread about recipe protection from a brewers standpoint.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:44 PM   #7
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If it were up to me I'd just ask for some recognition on the bottle if it gets to production and hope that it really does do well. Fair credit would seem to cover that, but you might want to ask about it beforehand.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:47 PM   #8
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I won a local HB contest and got to brew 250 gals of my recipe at the local brew pub.

I got to name it, 10 gals free, a t-shirt and bragging rights, and the experience...that's all.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:47 PM   #9
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None of the local breweries that do collaborative brewing pay for the recipes, although Widmer gives people a nice jacket and when the beer is on tap, the homebrewer gets credit. It is unlikely that the final recipe for volume brewing will be exactly the same as yours anyway and that makes it the brewery's recipe.

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:51 PM   #10
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If he's a real friend I'd be comfortable with a verbal agreement that you'll get mention or your name on all swag associating with the beer (bottles, tap handles, tshirt ect). Then just write the recipe in % when you take it with you for brew day and bring it home with you afterwards if you want to keep the recipe yours. But at that point I'd take the recognition agreement and give them the recipe.

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