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Old 08-07-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
bernerbrau
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Default Making the jump to commercial

So, the second I started homebrew, my mom started asking if I was going to open up a brewery.

I brushed it off at first but then I thought that would be an interesting retirement plan. Quit software development by the time I'm 40 and just make beer and live off the profits. Oh, and finally finish developing the computer game I've been working on since high school!!


I figure, I'm 27 now. I have 10 years of homebrewing experience to get under my belt, during which time, as I get better, I can generate word of mouth about my beer, immerse myself in the local homebrew community, enter homebrew competetions, etc.

Then, at 37, I hire an accountant (whom I bribe with free beer, obviously) to help with the business aspect, rent out a downtown storefront, interview and hire pub employees, and open up shop. I have 3 years of part-time brewing while holding down a day job, then I retire and go full-time as a commercial brewer.

So, I googled several forms of "brewer's license" "commercial brewing", etc. but my normally faithful friend is turning up irrelevant results. Can people in the know point me to commercial brewing information by state? I assume licensing is different everywhere. What else would I need to know?

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Old 08-07-2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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I'd recommend contacting these folks:
http://www.state.tn.us/abc/

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Old 08-07-2008, 08:22 PM   #3
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There are some people here that have gone on commercially, hopefully they can help you out. I have not gone that route, but I will offer what I know, or at least what I think I know.

First of all, you should start with your local city hall. They may not have the answer, but they could probably point you in the right direction. The problem being is that even your most avid homebrewer doesnt break the 500 gallon margin and your typical one is probably right around 200. To brew commercially, you are going to have to be in the minimum of around 3,000. This poses even more problems because there is going to be a significant investment in equipment. It is not a situation where you can use your existing equipment and just brew a lot. It wont work like that.

The point I am trying to make is that deciding to go all-in and going commercial is not a spur of the moment thing. It would likely cost you everything you save over the next decade and obviously nothing is guaranteed.

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Old 08-07-2008, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
The point I am trying to make is that deciding to go all-in and going commercial is not a spur of the moment thing.
I realize that this is the case. That's why I'm looking to do some research so I can make an informed decision.
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:28 AM   #5
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It is always a good idea to work part-time in someone else's brewery first. Find a small brewer & work something out, even if it is helping for free. Too bad you don't live in Oregon, I know someone who keeps trying to sell me his brewery every time I see him.

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Old 08-08-2008, 01:40 AM   #6
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very interesting reading from someone who's done it:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=11411 parts 1,2, and 3
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=20962 part 4
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=54838 a day in the life

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