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Selling home brew in IL

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keatz85

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Was thinking about selling bottles and kegs of home brew to local liquor stores and bars. How do you go about doing that? Would start off pretty small. Wouldnt be too much going out. Do you need license or anything else?
 

mistercameron

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You probably need a license among other things. You should contact an attorney of you are serious about it.
 

BigEd

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You can't sell home brew. Period. That's why it's home brew. Only commercially produced alcoholic beverages made by licensed, regulated, approved, inspected, taxed, etc establishments may sell such beverages. Search for the multitude of threads on the subject. :mug:
 

bernerbrau

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The three-tier system established after prohibition:

Producers sell to distributors.
Distributors sell to retailers.
Retailers sell to consumers.

To become a producer requires a license, and it's expensive, and there's tons of red tape.

There is one way around this system, and that's to own an establishment where the alcohol served is brewed on premises. But then you still have to be a licensed retailer, which is still expensive and complicated.

That said, many people on here have "gone pro" successfully. So don't let us discourage you if that's something you're actually serious about.
 

JRems

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Also check in some states the brewery can self distribute
 

Yooper

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In some states, you can get a homebrew license to sell. Minnesota just recently enacted a "basement brewery" license. But most states have a three tier distribution system, as well as require federal and state licensing.

I don't know the specific laws about becoming a licensed brewery in Ill, but without the licensing, no bar or liquor store will touch you, sorry to say. They could lose THEIR liquor license by not following the laws set down for them. I believe that in IL, you must only go through a distributor and cannot directly sell to bars or liquor stores.

Here's the basic application ($900 application fee once you have the federal application complete): http://www.state.il.us/lcc/DOCS/Manufacturer.pdf
 

thatjonguy

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Also the feds want their cut and have regulations against brewing commercially out of your house (may be allowed adjacent to your house in a separate building if you have some land around your residence).

State law can't be less restrictive than federal law (case in point: the California marijuana debacle).

A federal brewers license is "free" as long as you meet the requirements. The license "fee" is the tax revenue generated by production.

A state license has a price tag plus a production tax.

This is based off my latest reading of federal code (May 2011) for my own brewery adventure.
 

Pappers_

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A member of the homebrew club I'm a member of here in the south Chicago suburbs is opening a nanobrewery - the licensing isn't that high, need to build a brewery that isn't in or attached to your home, I believe.
 

idiosyncronaut

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A member of the homebrew club I'm a member of here in the south Chicago suburbs is opening a nanobrewery - the licensing isn't that high, need to build a brewery that isn't in or attached to your home, I believe.
Did this ever work out?
 

Grinnan5150

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I don't know where Jacksonville, IL is but I am guessing it is southern Illinois. If that's the case no one will probably ever be the wiser if you sell it. If you are north of I-80 me thinks you'll have some 'splainin' to do to the authorities.

I too am interested to hear if it ever worked out. If you are really serious about selling your brew and being legal about it I would go nano.
 

MisterTipsy

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I once saw a guy walk into a bar with bottles of his home brew and he tried to sell them to the bartender. He was shocked to find out it wasn't legal and actually argued with the bartender about it before being asked to leave. :D
 
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keatz85

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Jacksonville is right by Springfield, you know, the capital of IL haha? Believe it or not we're not that hillbilly, you'd get got quick, it's not like Tennessee moonshine haha. I'm not that serious yet, was just curious b/c this whole "working" thing is overrated.
 

worterworld

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I don't know about Illinois, but in Pennsylvania you need to be licensed, insured, and regulated. Sanitation is a big hurdle also. The average start up for a microbrewery is around $800,000 and about $3,000,000 for a brew pub. I would love to be able to do it, but it's a total fantasy. Unless I hit the lottery.
 

Homercidal

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Jacksonville is right by Springfield, you know, the capital of IL haha? Believe it or not we're not that hillbilly, you'd get got quick, it's not like Tennessee moonshine haha. I'm not that serious yet, was just curious b/c this whole "working" thing is overrated.
Well shoot! You didn't say that your motivation was to avoid work! You really should get that nano license so you can kick back and do nothing and watch the money come rolling in! ;)
 

two_one_seven

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Your best bet would be to talk to the Prairie Schooner members in Springfield. The new brew pub Obed and Isaac's was opened by 2 of our members. Also the recently opened Rolling Meadows Brewery started from homebrewing roots. These are your two pathways and they are both expensive but doable. Good luck. Oh and @ Grinnan, it's Central Illinois, try looking at a map. We really get tired of being called southern illinois and plus it offends the Carbondale (actual Southern Illinois) folks to no end.....
 
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keatz85

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Your best bet would be to talk to the Prairie Schooner members in Springfield. The new brew pub Obed and Isaac's was opened by 2 of our members. Also the recently opened Rolling Meadows Brewery started from homebrewing roots. These are your two pathways and they are both expensive but doable. Good luck. Oh and @ Grinnan, it's Central Illinois, try looking at a map. We really get tired of being called southern illinois and plus it offends the Carbondale (actual Southern Illinois) folks to no end.....
Good call! I actually checked out Obed and Isaac's a couple weeks ago. They have a killer amber! I need to try some Rolling Meadows! Every time I've been at a restaurant where it was served it was lunch time and although very tempting, figured it wasn't a good idea. And lol about the southern IL comment! Thanks for the advice!
 

RiffMagnum

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Your best bet would be to talk to the Prairie Schooner members in Springfield. The new brew pub Obed and Isaac's was opened by 2 of our members. Also the recently opened Rolling Meadows Brewery started from homebrewing roots. These are your two pathways and they are both expensive but doable. Good luck. Oh and @ Grinnan, it's Central Illinois, try looking at a map. We really get tired of being called southern illinois and plus it offends the Carbondale (actual Southern Illinois) folks to no end.....

Oh you know how it is. There's two parts of Illinois. Chicago and everything else. Always hated that attitude.
 

rico567

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I don't know where Jacksonville, IL is but I am guessing it is southern Illinois. If that's the case no one will probably ever be the wiser if you sell it. If you are north of I-80 me thinks you'll have some 'splainin' to do to the authorities.

<snip>
I am assuming that the part of your post quoted above is intended to be humorous.

1. Jacksonville is in Illinois. It's about an hour and a half West of us. It is very, very real. The world doesn't end at Homewood or Matteson.

2. We have TVs, flush toilets, the Internet and everything down here now. We can afford that because of the lower cost of living; less of our income has to go to support the Dukedom of Rahm. We seldom have to fight pitched battles with the barbarian hordes or the zombies any more.

3. The authorities would be every bit as interested in someone trying to sell homebrew illegally down here as they would North of I-80.

4. RDWAHAHB
 

two_one_seven

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I am assuming that the part of your post quoted above is intended to be humorous.

1. Jacksonville is in Illinois. It's about an hour and a half West of us. It is very, very real. The world doesn't end at Homewood or Matteson.

2. We have TVs, flush toilets, the Internet and everything down here now. We can afford that because of the lower cost of living; less of our income has to go to support the Dukedom of Rahm. We seldom have to fight pitched battles with the barbarian hordes or the zombies any more.

3. The authorities would be every bit as interested in someone trying to sell homebrew illegally down here as they would North of I-80.

4. RDWAHAHB
Well said sir!!!!
 

Grinnan5150

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rico567 said:
I am assuming that the part of your post quoted above is intended to be humorous.

1. Jacksonville is in Illinois. It's about an hour and a half West of us. It is very, very real. The world doesn't end at Homewood or Matteson.

2. We have TVs, flush toilets, the Internet and everything down here now. We can afford that because of the lower cost of living; less of our income has to go to support the Dukedom of Rahm. We seldom have to fight pitched battles with the barbarian hordes or the zombies any more.

3. The authorities would be every bit as interested in someone trying to sell homebrew illegally down here as they would North of I-80.

4. RDWAHAHB
Wow everyone, I was just cracking a joke. I didn't mean to offend anyone. Sorry if I did. And yes, I was too lazy to look at the map.
 

two_one_seven

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It's a sore spot for downstaters. Nothing personal but it is a stereotype that is just a bit dated.

Springfield for example is a small city with a thriving world class medical center. It might surprise you how much is going on down here.

No worries but we don't take our second class status very well.
 

Big10Seaner

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In Illinois you need a license but if you only produce a certain amount you don't have to go through a distributor. I believe this law was passed last year.
 

inkedfireman

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In Illinois you need a license but if you only produce a certain amount you don't have to go through a distributor. I believe this law was passed last year.
Oh please God, let this be true! My dream is to open a nano with a tasting room, and be able to have my stuff in some of the bars in town, but no further. The whole "drink local" thing.

Would you happen to have the bill/law number on that?
 

rico567

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I have no particular interest in making beer commercially, and all I had to do was type "Illinois self distribute" into Google and it came up with the Brewers Association page that lists laws by state. Google is your friend.
 

inkedfireman

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True.

I got excited about the discussion, and just couldn't help myself, so I posted for the 20th time. I really should learn some restraint and stop wasting people's time and bandwidth.

Lurk mode back "on."
 

OldWorld

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It all depends on your local zoning ordinances and how friendly the city you live in is. You would need to get bonded and insured to do so. Here in California we have a few small production brewers that brew on home sits. They are heavily invested.

You would be far better off spending the resources needed for permits etc...on your own personal fermentation upgrades. The good old fashioned barter system would get you much further.
 

onthekeg

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I have no particular interest in making beer commercially, and all I had to do was type "Illinois self distribute" into Google and it came up with the Brewers Association page that lists laws by state. Google is your friend.
I'm not sure its always up to date though.
 
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