Author Topic: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees  (Read 6077 times)

Offline tonyp

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 563
  • If it ain't broke you aren't trying hard enough...
    • View Profile
Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« on: July 16, 2013, 01:48:09 PM »
Awhile ago NJ passed a bill allowing Farm Breweries, here's the text of the bill:

Farm brewery license. 1d.
The holder of this license shall be entitled, subject to rules and regulations, to brew any malt alcoholic beverages in a quantity to be expressed in the license not in excess of 2,000 barrels of 31 fluid gallons per year and to maintain a warehouse and to sell products to consumers for consumption off the licensed premises and to offer samples for sampling purposes only.  The license shall be issued only when the brewery at which such malt alcoholic beverages are brewed is located and constructed upon a tract of land exclusively under the control of the licensee, provided the licensee is actively engaged in farming on or adjacent to the brewery premises and is growing and cultivating hops or another product which is used in the production of the malt alcoholic beverages.  The fee for this license shall be graduated as follows: to manufacture between 1,200 and 2,000 barrels per year, $300; to manufacture between 100 and 1,l99 barrels per year, $200; to manufacture fewer than 100 barrels per year, $100.  For purposes of this subsection, "sampling" means the selling at a nominal charge or the gratuitous offering of an open container not exceeding one and one-half ounces of a malt alcoholic beverage.  No individual or entity shall hold more than one farm brewery license.


So basically for the cost of a shed, a home-brew system, $100 license and planting some hops you're in business and can sell up to 1,000 bbl a year. This might be a good way to get into the business and see if you actually like doing it.

Worst case scenario is that it doesn't work and you're out $100. Either way you are left with a brew-shed and a small plot of hops.

There have been other bills passed with regards to being able to sell to the public (making it legal to have a taproom) but I'm not sure that applies to Farm Brewery Licenses.

In any case, you can still sell 1.5oz samples on premises. At $5/pint, a 1.5oz sampler would run about 62¢. Bring that up to $1/1.5oz sampler and you're now making $8/pint at the tap (obviously the cost/profit would need to calc'd correctly depending on material costs and other factors). Selling a full keg of 1.5 oz. samplers at $1 from the tap would make approx. $425 (5gal * 640oz / 1.5oz = 426.666). Drop the price to 75¢ per 1.5oz sampler and you're still making $320 per 5gal keg at the tap, and likewise at 62¢, $264.

I live on almost 4 acres of land here that is zoned rural and I'm thinking of giving it a go, but I just wanted to start the conversation and see what everyone else thinks about this given the low startup costs.

Tony
Live from the Jersey Shore!

Bottled:
Grandpa Louie's Cream Ale
Eagle Point Pale Ale


Phrases for Creatives, #22:
"I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter."

Offline mtnrockhopper

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2894
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2013, 02:14:26 PM »
I wonder if growing fruit would also count if you use it in a fruit beer.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 4 Beta

Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958

Offline In The Sand

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 02:14:33 PM »
Much cheaper than Florida where a malt manufacturer's license is $3k annually. If you brew less than 500 bbls and don't sell to distributors you can pay the smaller license fee of $750.
Trey W.

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5697
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2013, 02:15:58 PM »
Massachusetts is doing something similar. you still have to deal with the feds and pay a bond but that goes towards your taxes due them anyway. I imagine your locality will have some ideas around what can and can't be a) a brewery and b) a tasting room not to mention local ordinances regarding intent to serve alcohol. but yeah it's pretty cool!
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11688
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 02:27:26 PM »
That's totally cool!  With that option, I might have a retirement "biz"!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline narvin

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1233
  • Baltimore
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 02:36:08 PM »
It looks like you can't have a tap room (for selling pints, at least) without getting another liquor license.  Can you self distribute in NJ?  If not, then you're basically selling bottles or growlers to go unless you can convince a distributor to take on a nano brewery (and are willing to accept even less money for your labor of love  :) )

Local zoning will still apply, so I don't know if someone on 1/4 acre in a suburb with a HOA will be able to get licensed.  If you're not already zoned for commercial I imagine you're going to have to live in a permissive locality or at least get local community support.  If you live in the country it's probably easier, but that cuts down the foot traffic a bit.

« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 02:41:00 PM by narvin »
Please do not reply if your an evil alien!
Thanks
Chris S.

Offline tonyp

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 563
  • If it ain't broke you aren't trying hard enough...
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2013, 03:20:17 PM »
It looks like you can't have a tap room (for selling pints, at least) without getting another liquor license.  Can you self distribute in NJ?  If not, then you're basically selling bottles or growlers to go unless you can convince a distributor to take on a nano brewery (and are willing to accept even less money for your labor of love  :) )

Local zoning will still apply, so I don't know if someone on 1/4 acre in a suburb with a HOA will be able to get licensed.  If you're not already zoned for commercial I imagine you're going to have to live in a permissive locality or at least get local community support.  If you live in the country it's probably easier, but that cuts down the foot traffic a bit.


Yes you can self-distribute in NJ and according to the Farm Brewery License you can sell 1.5oz samples on premises but it doesn't specify any amounts, so...

The new laws for Plenary and Limited Breweries allows them to sell direct to consumers for on or off premises consumption.
Live from the Jersey Shore!

Bottled:
Grandpa Louie's Cream Ale
Eagle Point Pale Ale


Phrases for Creatives, #22:
"I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter."

Offline micsager

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1005
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 03:38:31 PM »
In my state the license is $100, and $100 for the Brewer's bond to the feds, and that's it.  We brew commercially as a hobby after work and on the weekends.  Amazing that Florida charges $3k. 


Offline In The Sand

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2013, 04:40:44 PM »
In my state the license is $100, and $100 for the Brewer's bond to the feds, and that's it.  We brew commercially as a hobby after work and on the weekends.  Amazing that Florida charges $3k.

Plus brewers bond and $280 consumption license for taproom service. And we wonder why there aren't many microbreweries in the south.
Trey W.

Offline narvin

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1233
  • Baltimore
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2013, 06:27:16 PM »

Yes you can self-distribute in NJ and according to the Farm Brewery License you can sell 1.5oz samples on premises but it doesn't specify any amounts, so...


That's awesome, I wish more states allowed self distribution.

I'd check with your liquor board because the license says "sampling purposes only" and a nominal charge usually means a token amount, like $5 for a glass and unlimited samples.  I wouldn't count on making an awful lot of money from that.
Please do not reply if your an evil alien!
Thanks
Chris S.

cornershot

  • Guest
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 06:21:23 AM »
So you must be "actively engaged in farming". Does that mean you'll first start a hop farm? Are there additional licenses/fees associated with farming? How many hop plants would you need to supply enough to at least use some of your hops in every batch? Picking hops by hand is extremely labor intensive. What about drying and storing your hops? Processing a year's supply of hops, even for a nano, could be a huge challenge. Small scale farming in addition to trying to make a profit from a nano sounds like a daunting task.

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7228
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 11:55:59 AM »
Sounds almost French in scope of freedom. BTW, a single coriander plant will yield an amazing amount seed. Of course, you'd want more than one... :D Very appropriate in a "farmhouse ale".
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline VinS

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Harwinton CT
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 12:32:13 PM »
Thats great wish CT had one. Tony I would contact N.J. brewing guild and ask them what other info the farm lic dosent show but you would need need. www.njbeer.org
" There is no such thing as a bad beer. It's that some taste better than others." Billy Carter

Offline tonyp

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 563
  • If it ain't broke you aren't trying hard enough...
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2013, 02:40:04 PM »
So you must be "actively engaged in farming". Does that mean you'll first start a hop farm? Are there additional licenses/fees associated with farming? How many hop plants would you need to supply enough to at least use some of your hops in every batch? Picking hops by hand is extremely labor intensive. What about drying and storing your hops? Processing a year's supply of hops, even for a nano, could be a huge challenge. Small scale farming in addition to trying to make a profit from a nano sounds like a daunting task.

Yeah I dunno, if you go just by the wording of the bill it doesn't state any percentages or amounts. Leaves a lot of room for interpretation in its current state. I mean if you really want to be a stickler you could buy a hop plant, throw it in the ground and use a single leaf in every batch which would satisfy the requirements.

Its like playing by the rules vs. playing by the spirit of the rules.

Just like the sampling part of it, it only specifies the size of the sample, not how many you supply. Now by the wording of the rules, you could supply 1,000 1.5oz samples per person, but the spirit of the rules is more like "everyone can try a small sample of the beers you make and you can charge a small amount if you want to".

Obviously this is what lawyers go to school for, finding loopholes around the letter of the law.

Just as a random example of this, in Formula 1 they added a rule that teams were not allowed to put holes in the floor of the car. What did Redbull do? They opened the hole all the way to outside of the floor. Now its not a hole, its a 'slot'. Does it meet the wording of the rules? Absolutely. Does it still violate the spirit of the rules? Definitely.

I'm going to take VinS advice and contact the N.J. brewing guild and see if I can get more detailed info.

Tony
Live from the Jersey Shore!

Bottled:
Grandpa Louie's Cream Ale
Eagle Point Pale Ale


Phrases for Creatives, #22:
"I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter."

Offline tonyp

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 563
  • If it ain't broke you aren't trying hard enough...
    • View Profile
Re: Going Pro Cheap - NJ Farm Brewery Licensing and Fees
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 02:43:35 PM »
Thats great wish CT had one. Tony I would contact N.J. brewing guild and ask them what other info the farm lic dosent show but you would need need. www.njbeer.org

Awesome idea, I'll do this and report back.
Live from the Jersey Shore!

Bottled:
Grandpa Louie's Cream Ale
Eagle Point Pale Ale


Phrases for Creatives, #22:
"I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter."