Have you thought about hooking up with a local Pub? There are a lot of Brew Pubs popping up around here. As long as they are serving food and being inspected there is no other licensing required. Not sure what they are doing to retail as some are selling growlers. Personally I think there is a market for 5 gal kegs. Could sell premium beer and still be aforadable
At this size there really isn't any money in it. You don't break even till you hit 7BBL and only if you serve food which means kitchen equipment and staff. Bottling or kegging the break even happens at 17 BBL. Tight now it's a hobby and I have a small but devoted following and all the beer I can drink. Life is good.
My wife and I are fully licensed by the feds and state for our brewery. Right now, we are only brewing ten gallon batches, and the hobby makes us money. Next month we'll be moving a 1bbl system, but still pretty manual. And all our profits go right back into brewing toys. We jsut recently build a walk in fermentation room with cooling and heating for good temperature control.
Here is a samll brewery in Portlan, OR that brews on a 1bbl system and they've been in business for 20 years. They must be doing something right.
Depending on the salary of day your job, and your market, you've got everything you need to do it. (except you can't brew commercially in your garage unless you block the door to the house, if connected. if that's a seperate building, you are golden)