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Question about testing your beer in the Market

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JayTeeDee

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Hi,

I've been home brewing for over 5 years now and I've gotten good at crafting a good beer at least to my tastes and friends and family and other people who have tasted my brews have all liked it and I've gotten great feedback. A few weeks ago someone put a bug in my ear that maybe I should go commercial and enter our city's growing craft beer market. I've been researching and learning more and more and I believe that I can do it although I understand that it will be challenging to start up.

Today when I went to lunch I noticed a new boutique clothing store that looked like a cool shop and I went in to check it out and chatted with the owner. I noticed he was drinking a goose island IPA. He said his favorite was IPA and I started talking to him about my beer and how much I enjoy brewing IPAs and since he was a new business owner in the city I talked to him about my desire to start a nano brewing business that led to him inviting me to debut my beer at his grand opening next Thursday which I tentatively accepted as a great offer and I'll get back to him.

Now this is a big step and I actually have a full untapped keg of IPA that I just started carbonating yesterday which I'm sure is good but I didn't think I would get the opportunity to present it to anyone outside of my immediate and extended circle this fast. At the most I would have presented some tasters to my business class on graduation night in a few weeks but this, wow! It's a private invite only event for his investors and some of the city's taste makers, so who knows if someone with deep pockets likes it then....

I was wondering has anyone here in the forums ever thought about or has gone commercial and if there is any advice, tips, words of encouragement, rebuttals, anything that could enlightening me and inform my decision while I frantically try to do more research to see if I could even be ready to present samples for it.

What do y'all think?!
 

TechyDork

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There are several members on here that have "gone pro" with their brewing. You should be able to find their threads on doing so. Here is one i have been following:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=528499


As for serving your home brewed beer at this stores grand opening I would be very careful in doing so. You want to be sure you take a long look at your areas laws when it comes to sharing home brew. In most states home brewed beer is only legally allowed to be served at a private function, and no money can change hands. The even may qualify as a private function, but the event may need to have a license to serve beer or wine at the event. I am in no way a lawyer and would strongly urge you to take a hard look at what you need to do this on the up and up.

For example in my home town we have an annual beer and wine event. In the past we set up a table for home brewers and we would share our beers along side the breweries. This year the local Alcohol Control board told us that as home brewers we cannot legally share our beer at this event. I believe this is related to the fact that patrons of the event purchase admission and drink tickets.

If you truly plan to open a nano the last thing you want to do is get cited for something alcohol or brewing related. Just be ultra safe and do your homework.
 
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JayTeeDee

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That was one of my main concerns. Our state (Alabama) only legalized home brewing a couple years ago. He told me its a private event I don't know if the loophole would be if the owner of the business chooses to provide alcohol to his guests for free like any other party (because i'll just be giving out shot glass size tasters) no money changing hands, not even tips.
 

m00ps

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I catered a wedding exclusively with my beer and it turned out ok. The guy I was doing it for works for dippon dots and got me a sweet commercial grade chest freezer. They also purchased all the ingredients for the batches. I hope it works out for you, it was really fulfilling to see a room full of people drinking my beer and having a great time

In KY, you cant advertise homebrew either because they assuming advertising=profitability. As long as no dickbag cop is there, I think youll be ok if its a private event.

Im now working with a few local breweries to make a collaboration under their license. My own concern is that if I turn brewing into a job instead of a side hobby (although one that takes up 90% of my free time). It might ruin my love for it
 

Yooper

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Make sure you follow state law, specifically in (c) where it says:



(c) Beer, mead, cider, or table wine produced under this act may not be removed from the legal residence where it was produced, except in quantities no larger than 10 gallons, aggregate, for any one event, and to be transported for personal use at organized events of homebrew competitions and judgings licensed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board as a special events retail license under Section 28-3A-20, Code of Alabama 1975, provided that the license will not allow the purchase or sale of any alcoholic beverages when that license is used for this purpose. Organized events involving beer, mead, cider, or table wine produced for personal use may not be held on the premises of entities otherwise licensed under Title 28, Code of Alabama 1975.


________________________________________________________

It sounds like removing beer from the home where it is produced is only legal at organized events of homebrew competitions and judgings. So in Alabama, it sounds like what you are proposing is illegal in all ways.
 
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JayTeeDee

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Make sure you follow state law, specifically in (c) where it says:



(c) Beer, mead, cider, or table wine produced under this act may not be removed from the legal residence where it was produced, except in quantities no larger than 10 gallons, aggregate, for any one event, and to be transported for personal use at organized events of homebrew competitions and judgings licensed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board as a special events retail license under Section 28-3A-20, Code of Alabama 1975, provided that the license will not allow the purchase or sale of any alcoholic beverages when that license is used for this purpose. Organized events involving beer, mead, cider, or table wine produced for personal use may not be held on the premises of entities otherwise licensed under Title 28, Code of Alabama 1975.


________________________________________________________

It sounds like removing beer from the home where it is produced is only legal at organized events of homebrew competitions and judgings. So in Alabama, it sounds like what you are proposing is illegal in all ways.
Hmm... that would also mean that I couldn't give it away to people leaving my house or take some bottles or a growler to the thanksgiving/christmas dinner for people and/or myself to enjoy.

Of course people do it and it may not be straight black and white legal but I think I'll be alright as long as no one from the ABC Board is there or some stick in the butt tattle tell.
 

Yooper

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Hmm... that would also mean that I couldn't give it away to people leaving my house or take some bottles or a growler to the thanksgiving/christmas dinner for people and/or myself to enjoy.

Of course people do it and it may not be straight black and white legal but I think I'll be alright as long as no one from the ABC Board is there or some stick in the butt tattle tell.
Right- it some states it's illegal to take your own homebrew out of your "home" and into your own cottage or campsite, or to give to friends, or even to transport at all. Most states have changed it to at least allow it to be moved to enter in competition, but not all states have even that. If you read further, in Alabama you can't even have more than 15 gallons total of homemade wine, mead, cider, or beer (cumulative) on hand, in wet counties. In dry counties, it's still illegal. Pretty strict. http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/Alabama/

You can do whatever you want, but I'd suggest two things. The first is to not even consider mentioning illegal activity, or considering such activity, to anybody and certainly not on the internet.

The second is more practical- if you think you EVER want to actually go pro, I'd make sure to not do anything that may create a problem down the road. Getting a brewery license isn't all that easy anyway, but if you have any hint on your record or even a smidgeon of a thought of a hint of any sort of alcohol violation (small though you may consider it), you have no chance at all.

And you may want to let the nice shopowner know that this is illegal and let him make the call since he may be ok with it, or not. But he should at least be informed that it would be illegal to do this. He probably has no clue that it would mean him going out of business, if caught. It might be a small risk, but it's right to decide on whether it's an acceptable risk.
 

mbbransc

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Each state has their own wonky rules. I recall California having some new law that they thought would be a good thing, but ended up not allowing homebrewers to give their beer away free (and they obviously couldn't sell it). I'm not sure how that ended. I recall it put the NHC in jeopardy. Was that last year? Or this year? I can't recall.
 
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