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Nitsua

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Calling me an amateur home brewer is an understatement. Only two beers have been finished and distributed to friends, others are fermenting and bottle conditioning.
One of my buddies wants to give me some of money to start brewing on a larger scale ($500 -$1000). I know it's not a LARGE sum of money but I'm not sure he is taking a wise bet. He obviously does not want a full brewery, he just wants to sell beer to friends. While selling beer w/o a license does seem "exciting", I'm not quite sure it is such a good idea.

I had never thought about trying to make money off my friends for a hobby.

If I took the money could upgrade to all-grain, and maybe larger batch sizes. Then sell beer to friends until I repaid him.
OOOOO maybe even set up a small bar in the garage :rockin:

Question 1: Should I take the money?
Question 2: Would you/ Should I, have any ethical problems selling to friends?

I am torn on what to do. :confused:
Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated
Thanks
 

winzerz

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TABC (texas alcohol and beverage commision) frowns rather severly on this practice

I believe its called "bootlegging"
 
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Nitsua

Nitsua

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The Legal aspects are by far my biggest concern. The risk far out out weigh any reward.
I mostly wanted to play devils advocate and see if anyone made a good argument for.
Many thanks for the input.
 

BoyScout

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So don't sell them beer, sell them memberships in a social club or beer admiration society.
Provide the beer absolutely free as a bonus for showing up at club meetings.
 

hayabusa

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Your friends can buy your ingredients for you; so you brew for free and then you give them 1/2 of the beer. That's fair and legal.
 

Tenchiro

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So don't sell them beer, sell them memberships in a social club or beer admiration society.
Provide the beer absolutely free as a bonus for showing up at club meetings.
there is a club like that in Seattle, the owner got tired of the smoking laws in bars and created his own club. There is no fee to join and no admission just BYOB or make a donation and donate to the club. The only way to get in is word of mouth but once they like you you can go back whenever you want. Since it is a private establishment that is not open to the public they fly under the radar for the man.

It is one of the coolest places I have hung out in.
 

ChshreCat

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Your friends can buy your ingredients for you; so you brew for free and then you give them 1/2 of the beer. That's fair and legal.
I'm going to be doing that. My boss is hooked on chocolate stout, so she's going to buy the ingredients for a batch, I'll brew it and we'll split the spoils.
 

carnevoodoo

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I'm going to be doing that. My boss is hooked on chocolate stout, so she's going to buy the ingredients for a batch, I'll brew it and we'll split the spoils.
I do this with some of my friends too. It is just fun for me to brew, so everyone is happy. I usually give them 90% of the beer, not just half.
 

Coastarine

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I had a "happy hour" party at my house yesterday. Not an all out party, because it wrapped up around 8, it was just a good time and a beer on the way home from work. I'm going to make it a regular thing, and I might put out a donation jar but probably not. I get all excited at the idea of kicked kegs, because there is always something delicious coming. If I wanted to though, I could just make it 5$ per person for the snacks and beer, and I think that would more than cover it. I don't think I will though, I like the atmosphere of hospitality. No need to bring pen and paper into this.
 

GunnerMan

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I agree if you want to sell your beer, you need to avoid the legal aspects of it. I.E. put the beer out as "free" and have a "tip" jar. But as far as you and everyone that gets beer knows this tip is..mandatory. Or take the money for ingredients/and labor, kind of like an escort service, you are not paying for the sex officially, instead you are paying for the accompanyment/time.

I would just tell your buddy that you don't want to sell your beer but you will take his money and upgrade with it, then you can give him brews untill you have paid him off.
 

mmb

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Selling homebrew is a good way to run afoul of your friendly, local ATF officer and the TTB.

ATF has guns, TTB will just sell everything you own to cover the fines and then let the ATF take you to jail.

I like the club idea but I don't like making money off of friends. If they want to push a couple bucks forward to cover ingredients that's fine, but a "tip" jar just sticks in my craw.

That said... I have a 1900's till on the back bar at home.. :eek:

 
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There's a guy here with a 6 bbl system in his back shop. Yes; 6 barrels.

People volunteer to help him brew, in turn you "chip in" for ingredients and operarting costs. He collects the money based on how many bottles you take home.

He even has his own bottling system.

That said, this is in BC and is technically legal but each state or province or federal law is different. You really do have to watch out. This guy is right on the edge of the law. He doesn't have a large number of "co-brewers" so no one really cares anyway. If he had hundreds then he'd be watched like a hawk. He had a lwayer friend come up with this system.

I bought ingredients off him for my owb brewing. I do know you never mention the words "buy" and "beer" in the same sentance when talking to him or he'll quickly show yu the door.

Man, would it be nice if there were no laws about selling alchohol without licences. Would sure make things easier in these economic times.
 

Baldy_Beer_Brewery

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While I wouldn't do it, I do recognize that there are a good many good old boys around these parts that sell 'shine. AFAIK, they have yet to be busted, but I have a long standing policy of avoiding anal rape and staying out from behind bars goes a long way towards maintaining that.

As far as making money brewing beer... I also have a policy of not making a job out of this hobby. I enjoy brewing, I enjoy beer, and I enjoy my friends and family enjoying my beer.
 

Yooper

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Don't forget to check your laws in your state- most allow 100 gallons of homebrewed wine, beer, mead, cider per person for personal use. If you have more than one over-21 adult in your home, you can make up to 200 gallons per year legally. In Canada, the legal age is younger, of course, but in the US it's 21.
 
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Don't forget to check your laws in your state- most allow 100 gallons of homebrewed wine, beer, mead, cider per person for personal use. If you have more than one over-21 adult in your home, you can make up to 200 gallons per year legally. In Canada, the legal age is younger, of course, but in the US it's 21.
I don't think we even have a limit on production here. I think it's 19 in everywhere but Alberta (18). Quebec used to be 18, not sure if they still are.
 

GunnerMan

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Don't forget to check your laws in your state- most allow 100 gallons of homebrewed wine, beer, mead, cider per person for personal use. If you have more than one over-21 adult in your home, you can make up to 200 gallons per year legally. In Canada, the legal age is younger, of course, but in the US it's 21.
100-200 gallons...how will that ever be enforced...lol why do we waste time with such "laws"
 

The Pol

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I agree with those that say regardless of laws, it is *****ie to charge friends for such things. I have a neighbor that charged his "friend", another neighbor, $20 to mow his grass because he didnt have a mower last year. Super *****ie... you dont charge neighbors for doing them a favor, and you dont charge friends for beer. Next thing you know, you are over at thier house watching the game and they charge you a buck for each beer you take from thier fridge. Now, that would be funny!

Dont take the money, dont charge your friends...
 

Beernip

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Just remember that it will only take one pissed off customer to notify the ATF. Doesn't matter if it was your friend or his ex-girlfriend who he just cheated on.
 

newbeerpig

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I just got my neighbor brewing his own and then we share, great program, I have twice the brews around with half of the work and no issues with the ATF of federal pound me in the prison. Just an idea, especially if someone is ready to invest... might even get them to upgrade to all grain and then borrow their stuff :)
 

kirscp

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They can pay for grains and hops, whatever they want to pay. You just can't sell the final product. Pretty easy to get around the Fed.

There are businesses that do the above. You rent their equipment, buy the grains/hops, rent their space, etc. The business makes money, but isn't selling beer.



1. A person may operate a "Brew-on-Premises" (BOP) business without qualifying as a brewery or paying excise tax on beer produced at the BOP by adults under the conditions outlined below. No Federal regulations currently apply to the operation of a BOP business.

2. Adults may produce beer at a BOP for personal or family use. Adults who use BOP facilities to make beer are governed by existing regulations in 27 CFR §§ 25.205 - 25.206, as follows:

* Adults must be 18 years of age (or other age required for the purchase of beer in the locality).
* Adults may jointly produce beer at a BOP provided other conditions are met. Adults may produce beer must for personal or family use only.
* Personal and family beer is not subject to Federal excise tax. A home brewer may produce, without payment of tax, per household, up to 100 gallons per calendar year if there is one adult residing in the household, or 200 gallons of beer per year if there are two or more adults residing in the household.
* Home brewers may remove their beer from the BOP for personal or family use, including use in organized affairs, exhibitions, or competitions (such as homemaker's contests or tastings).
* Home brewers may not produce beer for sale or offer their beer for sale.

3. Proprietors and employees of Brew-on-Premises facilities: May furnish space, brewing equipment, ingredients, bottling supplies, and advice and expertise to customers. They may also furnish unfermented wort to BOP customers. May provide certain assistance to customers including: Moving containers of beer between storage areas. Cleaning, maintenance, and repair of equipment. Climate and temperature control. Disposal of spent grains and wastes. Quality control (including laboratory analysis and tasting of beer for quality control purposes). May not provide physical assistance to, or on behalf of, customers in the production, storage, or bottling of beer; for example, employees may not ferment mash, filter or bottle beer, add sugar or other ingredients to beer, or provide other physical assistance in producing or bottling beer. May not provide non-tax paid beer to customers or prospective customers for sampling purposes.
 

bad coffee

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At the last house party here, I put a donation box on the kegerator.

There were two slots cut in the top of the box. One side said "this is great beer." the other said "This beer sucks, where's the bud lite?" In the middle it said "vote with your $, all money goes for more beer!"

Both slots went into the same box.

The party was from 9pm until 8am the next day. We kicked 3 kegs and put a big dent in 3 more.

In the morning I opened the box and found $9. Later I found out that one of my roommates put in $8 as a donation for more beer stuff.

The next party will have 2 kegs of ale and when it's gone it's gone.

No more tip jars for me.

However, if your friend wants to buy you an all grain setup in exchange for you making beer wort for him, I think that's great.

He buys you a brew stand with 15gal bling pots and a march pump, CFC, a couple of conicals, yeast freezing/slanting tools/ and kegging setup.
You have him buy ingredients and ship them to your place.

You make the wort, put it into the conicals. He comes over and pitches the yeast. Then he comes over and bottles when it's ready. He takes his beer home, and does whatever he wants with it.

You use the brew setup to make the beers you want.

Also put on the list you want a $50,000 bond set up so you can bail yourself out and pay the fines, court costs, and lawyer fees when you get busted.

Tell him no go until you get the bond.

B
 

PavlovsCat

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Yeah... I don't know about you folks, but spending time in a federal prison just doesn't sound like fun to me.
On the up side, you could learn to brew a great toilet raisin jack. You'll be a hero among the other cons. May keep you out of the sack with Bubba.
 

bmckee56

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I like the idea of a "Happy Hour Party" but then you run the risk of a friend or attendee leaving intoxicated and getting stopped for DUI or having some sort of accident and they come after you for providing the juice.

Guess it's no different than any other gathering of friends to enjoy a few brews, but it sure is scary to think of the consequences.

As for taking the money, I think I would do as others have suggested and invest it in good equipment and supplies and get my friend to assist, or make his own.

Salute!
 

notwoohoo

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They can pay for grains and hops, whatever they want to pay. You just can't sell the final product. Pretty easy to get around the Fed.

There are businesses that do the above. You rent their equipment, buy the grains/hops, rent their space, etc. The business makes money, but isn't selling beer.



1. A person may operate a "Brew-on-Premises" (BOP) business without qualifying as a brewery or paying excise tax on beer produced at the BOP by adults under the conditions outlined below. No Federal regulations currently apply to the operation of a BOP business.

2. Adults may produce beer at a BOP for personal or family use. Adults who use BOP facilities to make beer are governed by existing regulations in 27 CFR §§ 25.205 - 25.206, as follows:

* Adults must be 18 years of age (or other age required for the purchase of beer in the locality).
* Adults may jointly produce beer at a BOP provided other conditions are met. Adults may produce beer must for personal or family use only.
* Personal and family beer is not subject to Federal excise tax. A home brewer may produce, without payment of tax, per household, up to 100 gallons per calendar year if there is one adult residing in the household, or 200 gallons of beer per year if there are two or more adults residing in the household.
* Home brewers may remove their beer from the BOP for personal or family use, including use in organized affairs, exhibitions, or competitions (such as homemaker's contests or tastings).
* Home brewers may not produce beer for sale or offer their beer for sale.

3. Proprietors and employees of Brew-on-Premises facilities: May furnish space, brewing equipment, ingredients, bottling supplies, and advice and expertise to customers. They may also furnish unfermented wort to BOP customers. May provide certain assistance to customers including: Moving containers of beer between storage areas. Cleaning, maintenance, and repair of equipment. Climate and temperature control. Disposal of spent grains and wastes. Quality control (including laboratory analysis and tasting of beer for quality control purposes). May not provide physical assistance to, or on behalf of, customers in the production, storage, or bottling of beer; for example, employees may not ferment mash, filter or bottle beer, add sugar or other ingredients to beer, or provide other physical assistance in producing or bottling beer. May not provide non-tax paid beer to customers or prospective customers for sampling purposes.
All of this information is great and all, but state law applies as well. For example, BoP isn't legal in Georgia, but WoP is. I'd recommend the OP do research for his particular situation
 

taylornate

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I agree with those that say regardless of laws, it is *****ie to charge friends for such things. I have a neighbor that charged his "friend", another neighbor, $20 to mow his grass because he didnt have a mower last year. Super *****ie... you dont charge neighbors for doing them a favor, and you dont charge friends for beer. Next thing you know, you are over at thier house watching the game and they charge you a buck for each beer you take from thier fridge. Now, that would be funny!

Dont take the money, dont charge your friends...
In my opinion it would be super *****ie to expect someone to mow your grass all summer without getting paid.
 

Cheeto

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take your buddy with the cash to the LHBS and teach him to brew! put together a club and help others in their brewing endevours !

Then share with everyone !!!!

-just a thought

Jason
 

JVD_X

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So so true. Making money off of friends is just weird.
I actually have to disagree. My wife has several direct sales companies and while the vast majority of her sales come from friends-of-friends or friend-of-friend-of-friends she still sells to friends. It's not creepy at all and it's a testament to the quality of your products and your integrity to not only have your friends buy stuff from you but also recommend you to their friends - even though there is nothing in it for them.

I like the idea of a "Happy Hour Party" but then you run the risk of a friend or attendee leaving intoxicated and getting stopped for DUI or having some sort of accident and they come after you for providing the juice.
Some states like Virgina do not recognize host liability in these cases.
 

aaronbeer

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what about a bring your own grain party. Have a list of grains you want and people come a drink and bring grain. Its like a baby show but for beer!
 

BierMuncher

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Here's my plan.

Roll out the rolling kegerator.

Charge $1.00 to demonstrate said rolling kegerator.

Demonstration consists of filling one standard ale glass and setting said glass aside on a table somewhere. End of demonstration.

For every $1.00 paid, I repeat said demonstration.

Now what happens to each glass of those "demonstrations"?

How should I know. ;)

Rolling_Kegger99991.jpg

Rolling_Kegger9999.jpg
 
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