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Yes, this is another thread about selling beer... but on a tiny scale.

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bleme

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Great points! I think in my neck of the woods (California) #2 is not legal. Just to distribute one must have licences, etc... Great post. Thanks
Also in California and #2 is definitely legal since AB 1425 passed in 2013. Pre-Covid, I was invited to give my beer away at about 10 events per year.
 

Nate R

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Also in California and #2 is definitely legal since AB 1425 passed in 2013. Pre-Covid, I was invited to give my beer away at about 10 events per year.
That is AWESOME news! I am glad to hear that! I am also so happy with the relaxing of various misc. CA alcohol restrictions during Covid... but alas, I digress.
 

rsquared

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Also in California and #2 is definitely legal since AB 1425 passed in 2013. Pre-Covid, I was invited to give my beer away at about 10 events per year.
Nice to know the details... I know I've poured at quite a few events in CA, but always as part of a club, so I wasn't sure if that was any different than an individual being allowed.
 

MMP126

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I think there is still a place for small batch brewing.

Example: years ago I went to Asheville before the scene really exploded, they were mostly brewpubs with Sabco systems. Now a brewpub is different than a brewery I understand this, but they were really successful with 15-30 gallon systems.

I’m not going to put forth the effort to compare laws a nano breweries vs a brew pubs but it might be a route to lawful small batch brewing.
This may be the smallest amount of beer you can make, and still potentially make some money back. Tap sales will always be best, profitwise, so maybe that is how these places made it. I have just heard stories of people starting small (but usually 1bbl or larger), and wishing they went 5 or 7bbl out of the gate.

There just isn't much money in brewing and selling 1bbl at a time...
 

MMP126

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This is actually what we started doing - giving it away to people at work. We started out with (24) howlers that we had customized with our logo. We had a few friends we were always sharing beer with and we knew of others that wanted to do the same. So we bought the 24 thinking that we'd keep about 8 of them. Word got out and all 24 are out to people at work. My wife sends out a regular email to the "howler club" as far as whats on the schedule to be brewed and when beers are available. We don't hound people, it's up to them to bring the howlers in if they want what was released. We clean them, sanitize them, fill them and seal them with a heat wrap so there are no problems with driving them home or anything.

Not saying it's legal, but it's how we're accomplishing the goal of getting our beer out there. There are definitely people in that group of 24 that are friends and maybe just doing to to be supportive, but there are a lot of people in that group that are not really friends but were people interested in craft beer and the feedback has been really great!
This is a fantastic idea. May steal it...
 

Beermeister32

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The problem with doing this on any sort of a small scale has to do with our litigious society. If you brew up a batch, somebody drinks it and gets into a major collision, you will be sued. It doesn't matter if they drank a spoonful or a tankard, you will be named as a party to a lawsuit. You need insurance.

So, to brew and sell your small quantity you need to insurance up. The insurance companies will give you a huge question and answer sheet where you have to disclose amounts anticipated to sell, how much you sold last year, a breakout of different beer types, new products you made this year and any changes you made to existing products. Also, you will have to justify why you made those changes to each product, and keep a clean paper trail in the event of a lawsuit. After all of this, they will give you a contract for insurance. Because you will not be able to afford it all at once they will add insult to injury by financing it for you over a 12 month period.

So, let's say your general liability and product liability insurance package on your little brewery is $45,000 this year. You have to sell enough and be profitable enough to cover the nut on this as well as all your other business related expenses, of which there are many. So, 10 gallons a month isn't going to do it naturally. The only way to make it work is to scale up, and then you are in a real business, subject to all the other issues listed above. Most don't make it. It is entirely a different thing to make beer, versus making a business and money making beer. They aren't the same. Better to just enjoy your hobby. The public marketplace is a different effort altogether.
 

Transamguy77

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@Rob2010SS that is an awesome idea! When I would give beer away at work I usually ask for a commercial beer as a trade. I love to share my beer but it’s nice to get samples of beers that I would not typically buy.

I am just starting to get back to it again after almost 2 years off so I’m not looking for a trade and I just want to share what I’m making.
 

Rob2010SS

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@Rob2010SS that is an awesome idea! When I would give beer away at work I usually ask for a commercial beer as a trade. I love to share my beer but it’s nice to get samples of beers that I would not typically buy.

I am just starting to get back to it again after almost 2 years off so I’m not looking for a trade and I just want to share what I’m making.
Our logic was that we were brewing those beers anyway, and we have a half barrel fermenter. What if we scaled up the batches and just ALWAYS brewed half barrel batches and started this howler program. It's gotten a lot of good feedback.
 

Curtis K.

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So, let's say your general liability and product liability insurance package on your little brewery is $45,000 this year.
Have you talked to insurance companies to get this ridiculous number?

When I was at NanoCon 2019 there were a couple insurance companies represented - I did not get hard numbers because I did not have a location, but $45,000 a year was not anywhere near what the reps were talking about. Beermeister32, if you are going to throw out these numbers, please make sure you can back it up with fact.
 

LTBrewer

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I get that, but why not then laws governing sanitation etc. in selling baked goods???
Again, you can get sick, really sick from eating contaminated food, obviously. But you cannot get sick from beer, even if contaminated. You would basically have to literally add something bad to your beer in order to make someone sick.
Making beer/wine is inherently safe simply because of the low ph in beer/wine, and of course - alcohol.
The point I am making, is drinking home brew beer is monumentally safer than eating food made who knows where, sitting who knows where and who knows how long.
You tell me whose area/practices are cleaner - an experienced home brewer, or any Tom, Dick or Mary who decides to sell food? In Indiana, along with numerous other states, there are exactly zero regulations on selling baked goods. You are only required to label what it is. ex: "Banana Bread".
"Cottage Foods" are essentially almost unregulated. Yet there is 1,000 times the risk than that of consuming home brew.
There are laws for baked goods- In Mo, just to have baked good out for DONATIONS for scouts, we had to list names and accept personal responsibility if someone got sick. Can your 20 gallon operation weather being sued for $200K? Beyond that the reason is why we have the BATF, securing tax revenue and protecting the interests of the major breweries. I found out that latter personally when I got the return from overseas limits for alcohol into Mo, because of AB.
 

LTBrewer

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It is easy to think that, but in your 66 years a lot has changed - beer laws have changed dramatically allowing the microbrewery industry to explode and in many states you can buy and use weed legally - unthinkable when I was young. At one time they actually made all booze illegal in the USA - can you believe that? Laws can and do change.
Just don't try to get a federal job after the "legal" weed. But I agree, there has been some movement.
 

Beermeister32

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Yes, I've worked with insurance companies before. Your rates are based on a variety of factors, size and experience being some of them. Some insurers won't even insure startups, so your broker would be forced to place you into the secondary insurance market at higher cost. It is an example for sake of discussion, not a hard quote...
 
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madscientist451

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I want a license for TINY.
Why doesn't there exist a license in which you can sell beer, but only very small amounts. Let's say you can't sell more than 120 gallons a year. Or 10 gals a month. And getting that license should be much-much easier than getting even the "small" license which requires, as we all know, many hurdles and expenses.

We need to advocate for a tiny alcohol license.
Too many small producers would create a problem for tax auditing/enforcement, and tax revenue is the main reason that you have to get a license.
The tax auditor shows up at your "establishment" and wants to examine the books, but you are away for a two week vacation, you'll get fined for that.
Its actually cheaper to give away 10 gallons a month for free compared to all the record keeping and other hassles you would have to endure with maintaining a tiny license.
You can't barter your beer for something of value, but there is nothing wrong with giving it away selectively to people that invite you over for cookouts and super bowl parties.
Or instead of going to pubs, install your own pub in your backyard and be "open" for drop in guests one evening a week.
Some homebrew clubs have events where they pour for charity. If you get creative, you can find all kinds of ways to dispense 10 gallons a month without the problems you'll have dealing with the government.
 

BuzzedBomber

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Whoa! There are a lot of negative responses here, and some down right bad information. Let's start with the idea you need $1/$2 million. Pure BS and hyperbole. We started a brewery AND restaurant for $500k (Augustino's in Wichita, KS). The Brewhouse and Taproom were executed for $250,000, using a Blichman pro series 3BBL and Alpha Brew Ops Fermenters and Brite Tanks, and Glacier glycol. We had built the motorized grain mill and keg cleaner. The concern over selling to accounts was not the motivation, it was about selling in our four walls. And someone quoting $45, 000 for liability insurance is just someone trying to stop your dream. I would recommend you pay some money for course work, I personally have a certificate from Portland State University in the Business of Craft Beverage which is WAY more comprehensive than the Brewers Association's feeble book on opening a brewery. Based on the comments in this thread so far, it is evident the majority of those responding aren't interested in you succeeding in this venture as I read them and do not find how they match reality (or are just very extreme as to make it seem impossible). I spent four years researching, getting training, befriending other brewer's, and working for free brewing beer for one of them before jumping in. Good luck if you pursue it! To the nay-sayers, keep believing it's an impossibility! It's a freaking crowded field, and too many people get in not realizing how hard it is, and not doing enough research. I fall in to that later group.
 
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MMP126

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Whoa! There are a lot of negative responses here, and some down right bad information. Let's start with the idea you need $1/$2 million. Pure BS and hyperbole. We started a brewery AND restaurant for $500k (Augustino's in Wichita, KS). The Brewhouse and Taproom were executed for $250,000, using a Blichman pro series 3BBL and Alpha Brew Ops Fermenters and Brite Tanks, and Glacier glycol. We had built the motorized grain mill and keg cleaner. The concern over selling to accounts was not the motivation, it was about selling in our four walls. And someone quoting $45, 000 for liability insurance is just someone trying to stop your dream. I would recommend you pay some money for course work, I personally have a certificate from Portland State University in the Business of Craft Beverage which is WAY more comprehensive than the Brewers Association's feeble book on opening a brewery. Based on the comments in this thread so far, it is evident the majority of those responding aren't interested in you succeeding in this venture as I read them and do not find how they match reality (or are just very extreme as to make it seem impossible). I spent four years researching, getting training, befriending other brewer's, and working for free brewing beer for one of them before jumping in. Good luck if you pursue it! To the nay-sayers, keep believing it's an impossibility! It's a freaking crowded field, and too many people get in not realizing how hard it is, and not doing enough research. I fall in to that later group.
Whoa, not pure BS and hyperbole....

$500k for a brewery is not far fetched, maybe a bit high. Yes, you can do it for around $250-$300k. But, you better want to work, and be willing to throw down buckets of elbow grease. And you really need to be lucky to find a location that suits a brewery decently well. And there are a lot of people that dont want to/have the skills to do that work. $500k is a pretty normal budget number to start a 7-10bbl brewery. If you want to go 3bbl, $250-$300k sounds about right, or maybe even a little less than that. But you will be doing a lot of work, hoping nothing goes wrong, making decisions on stuff because of the money, not because of what you actually want or need, and your butt will probably be puckered until you get your beer sales going.

And, just my personal opinion maybe, but if you want to be very successful in this, you cannot operate on a 3bbl for an extended period of time. ANY success, and you will be brewing 5-6 times per week, or more, just to try to keep up. 3bbl can feed restaurant/pub beer sales, but is not large enough to keep up with inside and outside demand. But, this is getting off topic from what OP was after.

Also, insurance being $45,000 a year is wayyyy too much. I got a quote from Nationwide for Gen liab, Liquor liab, Business auto, Commercial property, and Workman's comp. It was like $450 per month.

Dont mean to be negative, just mean to be realistic.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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I get that, but why not then laws governing sanitation etc. in selling baked goods???
Again, you can get sick, really sick from eating contaminated food, obviously. But you cannot get sick from beer, even if contaminated. You would basically have to literally add something bad to your beer in order to make someone sick.
Making beer/wine is inherently safe simply because of the low ph in beer/wine, and of course - alcohol.
The point I am making, is drinking home brew beer is monumentally safer than eating food made who knows where, sitting who knows where and who knows how long.
You tell me whose area/practices are cleaner - an experienced home brewer, or any Tom, Dick or Mary who decides to sell food? In Indiana, along with numerous other states, there are exactly zero regulations on selling baked goods. You are only required to label what it is. ex: "Banana Bread".
"Cottage Foods" are essentially almost unregulated. Yet there is 1,000 times the risk than that of consuming home brew.
Of course, rules vary from state to state, and I can only coment about my own local, where participants in “farmer’s markets“ are in business and meet licensing requirements for what they sell. The baked goods are from a health department approved bakery etc.
in my state the only place you’d get home baked anything is a church bake sale, and maybe schools.
is “tiny” smaller than “Nano”?
 
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BuzzedBomber

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Whoa, not pure BS and hyperbole....

$500k for a brewery is not far fetched, maybe a bit high. Yes, you can do it for around $250-$300k. But, you better want to work, and be willing to throw down buckets of elbow grease. And you really need to be lucky to find a location that suits a brewery decently well. And there are a lot of people that dont want to/have the skills to do that work. $500k is a pretty normal budget number to start a 7-10bbl brewery. If you want to go 3bbl, $250-$300k sounds about right, or maybe even a little less than that. But you will be doing a lot of work, hoping nothing goes wrong, making decisions on stuff because of the money, not because of what you actually want or need, and your butt will probably be puckered until you get your beer sales going.

And, just my personal opinion maybe, but if you want to be very successful in this, you cannot operate on a 3bbl for an extended period of time. ANY success, and you will be brewing 5-6 times per week, or more, just to try to keep up. 3bbl can feed restaurant/pub beer sales, but is not large enough to keep up with inside and outside demand. But, this is getting off topic from what OP was after.

Also, insurance being $45,000 a year is wayyyy too much. I got a quote from Nationwide for Gen liab, Liquor liab, Business auto, Commercial property, and Workman's comp. It was like $450 per month.

Dont mean to be negative, just mean to be realistic.
Huh? Did you even read the thread and understand what my comments were in response to? Where's the down-vote button?
 

Jtvann

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I'm going to have to go back and read this entire thread. Crunching the numbers, selling a micro amount wont really net profit. That said, I enjoy the process of brewing. Since I stepped up to 10 gallon batches, ai o ly get to brew once every 2 months. Maybe once a month rarely. I do like it when people drink and love my beer. I get comments all the time that they cant find things similar to what I brew.

I live in a very remote area without a good beer selection. Theres also a very small tourist base in the summer. If it meant that I could brew more often just to give it away I would. I'm not willing to pay for ingredients though just to mass give it away to strangers. I do give away as much as friends could ever want.

Weve got one of these microscopic farmers markets every saturday. Like 6 or less sellers. I know my beer would sell if I could. If I could break even on the ingredient cost, just so I could brew more, I would.

I also dont want to go down in batch size, as I enjoy my process as is. I'd only ever want to scale up.
 

BuzzedBomber

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I live in a very remote area without a good beer selection. Theres also a very small tourist base in the summer. If it meant that I could brew more often just to give it away I would. I'm not willing to pay for ingredients though just to mass give it away to strangers. I do give away as much as friends could ever want.

Weve got one of these microscopic farmers markets every saturday. Like 6 or less sellers. I know my beer would sell if I could. If I could break even on the ingredient cost, just so I could brew more, I would.
Depending on your Alcohol Control Board, County and even City regulations, you might be stymied trying to sell off prem (premise). There is a LOT of research to do at the Federal, State, County and Municipality level to ensure you are in compliance. Often, you can get permission for Events, which you may be able to identify the Farmer's Market as being assuming you have a main locale for sales. Again, every place is different, and the research into it is what will be required. Something you probably could get away with is selling non-alcoholic beer, it's becoming a real thing, but you'd have to identify if you needed to call it something other than beer in order to be in compliance. I imagine you'd have a heck of a time marketing it, but probably would start going down the path of trying to describe to customers the process for making it and the benefit of not having alcohol... Doing so only to promote your ultimate goal of having "the good stuff" once you have a committed following for what you can sell. Might help get you capital from investors (if you're willing to bring them on). There are MANY possibilities on how to get into this. The quickest is to have a LOT of money and no need for bankers.
 

mashpaddled

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There are a lot of reasons discussed above but the primary reason is that as a society we have agreed that products we put in our bodies should have to meet a high threshold of care. Throughout history beer has been among the primary driving factors in the creation of food safety laws because there are always people looking to cut corners and make the most profit--sometimes intentionally including lethal additions. There is a reason commercial breweries suffer such a long process to open and have to go through painstaking procedures just to build. If you let people put out some quantity of beer from who knows where with who knows what in it you are definitely going to get some people making less than safe products with no way to check the safety of the product or remedy an injured consumer.

Sure I'd love to be able to sell off a few bottles here or there too but my ability to make a little money back on my hobby is not worth the risk consumers might suffer at the hands of a brewer more concerned with money and less with the quality of the beer.
 

Bill Huelsman

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My first thoughts would be to take this passion, and see if a existing small microbrewery in your area is in need of help. After spending time to prove yourself and your brewing skills, see if they would allow you to brew one of your recipes. This way your brewing and selling in a establishment that has done what’s needed to secure the license’s, pay the taxes, meet the local laws for foods and health regarding these establishments.
The cost is starting a small microbrewery with a tap room will easily exceed 1-2 million $$$$$. Consider those that have opened up the last year or 2. Could anyone with the business plan possibly could have have fathomed what has happened from Covid-19? I think that would have been virtually impossible! But added a ton of new issues and challenges for the ones who own and run these places.
I personally don’t want to take a chance to hurt the hobby of home brewing. Right now we have it good. We can legally make 200 gallons a year. I’m likely closer to 120-130 gallons a year personally. I’m making a light lager for a friends party. It’s lagering now. He’s not paying me one red cent, not even for the cost of ingredients! One hundred % free to my friend. There’ll be allot of those trying my beer that night when this party occurs. I’ve taken my corny kegs to party’s before. Again no money changed hands. Got great feedback from those who tried it. The hope is I can light a spark to encourage someone to try home brewing! I’ve told many, get a ingredient kit, bring it to my place, I’ll help you brew it up! Again no money.

[/QUOTE]
 
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Albionwood

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Yes, this is another thread consisting almost entirely of people who either didn't read the OP, or just read part of it and immediately jumped to whatever it is they want to talk about, ignoring the OP's actual question.
Sadly, this is pretty much what all online discussions look like to me now. Just people shouting their preconceived opinions into the void, nobody actually paying any attention to anyone else.

For the record, if there is one, I share the OP's original desire - I think we should be agitating to relax the restrictions on beer sales, which derive entirely from Prohibition and the belief that children must be protected by the government. I know of three places in my little town that would love to put my cider on tap, but they can't without risking their licenses. And I can't get a license because the barriers are too high.

Pre-Covid, I satisfied myself with selling homebrew and cider at fundraisers for nonprofits, which as was pointed out upthread has been legal in CA for several years. It's absolutely fantastic, a win-win for everyone, and I encourage everyone to lobby their State representatives to follow California's lead.
 

marke14

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I agree w/ the OP's idea - I would love to tread very lightly into the tiny / nano brewery without the enormous price tag of getting into a proper brewery business with the attendant costs. I would support such efforts.

I am down with an insurance requirements and one idea for regulating the tiny brewing crowd might be some kind of mandatory or right to inspect on brew day kind of thing - could apply to bottling and even throughout the full end to end process, and include sampling requirements. Like a lot of governmental/oversight programs, it could be made to fund itself (or attempt to) via licensing and regulatory fees which could still be tailored to the tiny/nano producer's budget.

I'm in agreement, unfortunately the reality is that you can't provide the ability to produce and distribute a product for profit (or indeed for free in many cases) with zero expectation of liability. And when you add alcohol to the product equation alongside the litigious society, industry cartels, and puritanical roots, it's an unfortunate forcing function for things like regulation and the need for liability insurance.

I myself would personally be OK with consuming - as I do from farmers markets and all over the world when we travel internationally - tiny, home cooked / brewed food and drink understanding that sometimes sh*t happens. ;) I've had at least as many bad things happen with regulated & insured franchise places like a certain popular sandwich chain, a locally famous chicken mediterranean chain, and others. It's unfortunate that we have to sue everyone for everything here in the U.S.

Again to the OP: I support this idea for an in-between tiny/micro licensing regime.
 

50calshooter

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Can you imagine the cost of general liability insurance and product liability insurance? Only to produce 10 gallons a month? Doesn't pencil out...
Insurance for making beer is based on how much money you gross per year.
 

Beermeister32

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As in all businesses, there is a large matrix insurers use based on a bunch of factors, projected gross sales volume being one of them. Ours is about 20 pages of questions you have to provide. Then your broker shops the insurance around to various insurers who come up with rates.
 

50calshooter

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As in all businesses, there is a large matrix insurers use based on a bunch of factors, projected gross sales volume being one of them. Ours is about 20 pages of questions you have to provide. Then your broker shops the insurance around to various insurers who come up with rates.
The broker idea can save some bucks. I asked three local agents and just went with one.
 

radwizard

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I've done donations with beer attached as a gift. I'm not sure if its 100% legal or not. It's for a good cause I am am not profiting on it, so it works for me. I have used online donation sites, and have a friend deal with all that. It's a good way to get people excited to donate to a good cause and expose them to quality homebrewed beer. At the end of the day I am the one donating the most, as I provide ingredients - labeling - packaging etc...
 

day_trippr

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Pretty sure if a local authority decided to actually do anything the whole "donation" thing would fall like a house of cards...

Cheers!
 

bobeer

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I've always wanted to open a brewery but never wanted to deal with the headaches of brewing on a massive scale. I think it loses the whole "craft" part of it if you go full scale; lets say 10 bbls or more. You'd have to have at least a 5 bbl brewhouse to make any kind of money, albeit a small amount of money, but keep in mind you'd be brewing all day long just about every day- also not an optimal situation.

I think a lot of us have the dream to own what is basically a glorified homebrewery but be able to bottle and sell beer to local retail shops, bottle shops, markets, etc... Not really enough to make any real money from it but it would suffice that want to sell your beer and get it out there. I've seen guys have little shed breweries that get a real nano license and sell to local shops and at local events. I've also seen coffee shops add 5 and 10 gallon homebrew setups to their business but they also got fully licensed and had supplemental income from other products in their store. It's really a labor of love more than anything else but I could see someone doing it who has the time, extra money to burn, and a free or very cheap space to operate in accordance to a brewery license.

Where I come from all the local bakers and such operate in rented commercial kitchens; at least I like to think they ALL do. My wife runs a small business and is in all the small business circles and says most of the bakers here do it the right way or have their home certified by the health board with regular visits from them to keep the standards met. It would be cool to have a commercial kitchen for homebrewer's so we could sell our small batch beer. Of course you could rent one to brew and package in but the main issue is what to do with it for a few weeks when it's fermenting? I doubt there's enough demand for someone to take the plunge into the business of running a commercial brew kitchen just so other guys can live out their pipe-dreams but who knows? Maybe that person is out there and can make it work. I'd probably get in on it. I've always said it would be awesome to have a food court type place that has nano's instead of places to eat. Think of all the cool small batched beer in ONE place! Then once a nano grew they'd move out and let another one move in. Put a stage in the middle for live music, stand up comedy, etc...
No idea if any of this would work but it seems like a cool place to hang out.

As of right now the only option is to find a cheap space and follow the rules. I've seen some guys share a retail space with another business and make the brewery in their detached shed or garage. Those guys had a dream though of owning a bigger brewery so it was just a stepping stone. Personally, owning a big brewery doesn't sound fun to me so my dream ends at 5-7 bbls which isn't going to get me rich. More like extremely tired and burnt out on beer. I also don't want to create a tax or licenses by accident for homebrewers to drink their own beer. I think what is in place works as long as you have money and time or a lot of creative ways to make it all work. It's worked for others before so it's possible; just not sure if the juice is worth the squeeze unless you're truly passionate about it.
 

Rob2010SS

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I gotta say, everyone keeps saying that you have to have at least a 5 or 10 bbl brewery to make money. However, there are a LOT of breweries in the Milwaukee/Chicago area that are operating on much less - 1 bbl to 3.5 bbl - and they do just fine (doing just fine is a bit of an assumption, as they continue to run their operation years in and haven't had to close their doors). I've actually spoken with the brewer of one of them - light the lamp brewery in Grayslake, IL - and they are brewing approx. 2-3 times a week. They're running (3) 3.5bbl fermenters and a 7bbl fermenter for days where they double batch it. They're open and doing just fine from the looks of their operation.

Another one I know of is PawPrint Brewery in Chatfield, MN. They're on a 1bbl Spike Brewing Nano system and while he's still new, he's doing just fine. I actually had a phone call with the guy to talk about how he did it as I'd love to do the same thing one day.

I'm not saying it's the ideal situation, but for those who take the leap and go pro, from what I'VE seen, you can be successful running a smaller operation. Like others have said, you may not get rich and you may brew a lot more to keep up but it's possible and if it's something you love, by all means, go for it.

Edit: When I say I keep seeing people call out 5-10 bbl setups, I'm not necessarily referring to just THIS thread, but others as well. Not calling anyone out in particular, just stating my opinion.
 
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skarz

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The only answer to this has nothing to do with sanitation, health code, etc. It comes down to bureaucracy and Uncle Sam getting upset when his hand isn't in your pockets. Do you know why it's not illegal to grow and sell your own tobacco? Because it's a full time job requiring several acres of land and tons of expensive equipment. Anyone can grow high quality marijuana in their closet with a couple hundred dollars of equipment, same goes for beer. You can make delicious beer in a Home Depot bucket. Isn't it a little coincidental that the two hobbies / requiring the smallest amount of space, time, and equipment are illegal to sell and distribute? Hmm...
 

Maxkling

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The only answer to this has nothing to do with sanitation, health code, etc. It comes down to bureaucracy and Uncle Sam getting upset when his hand isn't in your pockets. Do you know why it's not illegal to grow and sell your own tobacco? Because it's a full time job requiring several acres of land and tons of expensive equipment. Anyone can grow high quality marijuana in their closet with a couple hundred dollars of equipment, same goes for beer. You can make delicious beer in a Home Depot bucket. Isn't it a little coincidental that the two hobbies / requiring the smallest amount of space, time, and equipment are illegal to sell and distribute? Hmm...
This is about selling home brew... you can’t grow and sell tobacco, only personal use, same as home brew. It’s the same concept.
 

Beermeister32

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One other thing about small business that people need to remember is that what you find fun for a weekend brewing project can be an exhausting ball and chain if you are forced to do it each and every day. Additionally it can take a huge toll on your body. One-man or limited people operations are just that - you are doing most tasks yourself. You throw your back out one day and you are out of production a l-o-n-g time. You could easily get to the point where you don't like it any more, but are in the business zone where you rely on it for income and have no easy way of getting out of it, and not easy to scale up either. This is common with many types of small businesses. Takes the fun out of things!
 

madscientist451

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This is about selling home brew... you can’t grow and sell tobacco, only personal use, same as home brew. It’s the same concept.
The Federal tobacco allotment program was eliminated back in 2004.
Growing and selling tobacco is completely legal, although you may have to collect sales tax and your state may have regulations.
According to the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, "The Tax and Trade Bureau does not license, or require a permit for, growing tobacco. In addition, the Tax and Trade Bureau does not regulate the sale of tobaccos that are not tobacco products.
Source :Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) -- Victory Seed Company

There is zero interest in our current government (both parties) to ALLOW small producers to make alcohol without unreasonable burdens of regulations and extra costs. Our government is actively involved with picking economic winners and losers. Is that fair? Looks like Tyranny from here.
The organization "NORMAL" fought an uphill battle for years about marijuana laws, and recently started achieving their goals. Perhaps its time for a similar organization that would allow small producers to make and sell small amounts of beer, wine and cider.
 

Rob2010SS

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One other thing about small business that people need to remember is that what you find fun for a weekend brewing project can be an exhausting ball and chain if you are forced to do it each and every day. Additionally it can take a huge toll on your body. One-man or limited people operations are just that - you are doing most tasks yourself. You throw your back out one day and you are out of production a l-o-n-g time. You could easily get to the point where you don't like it any more, but are in the business zone where you rely on it for income and have no easy way of getting out of it, and not easy to scale up either. This is common with many types of small businesses. Takes the fun out of things!
But that right there is the difference between a hobbyist and someone who is passionate about brewing. If you're passionate about something, you won't work a day in your life. If you're not passionate about brewing and you don't love every aspect of it, even the cleaning, don't go pro. It's not for you. The people who are successful in the brewing industry are those who are passionate about it
 

50calshooter

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My brewpub has a ten gallon two vessel electric system with 40 gallons in fermenters. My place has max occupancy of 67. I do just fine. 13 faucets on two keg boxes. I brew two sixth barrels twice a week. We do have a full service bar with a liquor license so its not just beer I sell but most of our products sold is our beer. No kitchen so no food. Just a bar that has a nano brewery. We don't do growlers or any canning or bottling at all. You don't need to spend a million bucks, you don't need a 5 bbl system and you don't need a life time of debt. What you do need is a serious plan, a serious work ethic, and the ability to brew what OTHER people want to drink. It isn't really about the actual brewing. It's about planning, working, making a product people will pay for, and building a customer base that will grow.
 

madscientist451

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I do just fine. 13 faucets on two keg boxes. I brew two sixth barrels twice a week.
Thanks for posting! Most people are saying you can't make any money as a small brewer, but you're brewing 20 gallons a week and doing just fine?
Where is your brewery? I'd like to stop in and have a few pints.


:bigmug:
 
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