Author Topic: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?  (Read 2248 times)

Offline jbwolverton

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Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« on: October 13, 2014, 02:15:05 AM »
I'm currently in talks with an owner of a craft beer bar in Florida about starting a nano brewery at his bar.  The goal is to have me start brewing beer at his bar and to serve & sell it on tap.  Long term, I want to have my own brewery, but this is a lower risk starting point for me.  My question is, can I have my own LLC and be brewing & serving at his bar without violation of the three tier system?  If he has an LLC for his business, and I have one for my brewing business, does that prevent us from selling beers on tap directly to consumers?

If anyone has any feedback, experience, or resources on this topic, please share!  Thank you.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 12:09:54 PM by jbwolverton »

Offline majorvices

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 12:22:50 PM »
I'm not sure what the laws are in Fla but he will probably have to get a brewpub lic and it may be that if he serves as a brewpub he won't be able to serve other beers. Or maybe not, you are just going to have to see what the laws are in your state.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 02:25:03 PM »
There may be production limits below which a brewery can self-distribute ... 15 feet away.  The peculiarities of Florida law will determine what is possible.

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 02:56:05 PM »
I'm currently in talks with an owner of a craft beer bar in Florida about starting a nano brewery at his bar.  The goal is to have me start brewing beer at his bar and to serve & sell it on tap.  Long term, I want to have my own brewery, but this is a lower risk starting point for me.  My question is, can I have my own LLC and be brewing & serving at his bar without violation of the three tier system?  If he has an LLC for his business, and I have one for my brewing business, does that prevent us from selling beers on tap directly to consumers?

If anyone has any feedback, experience, or resources on this topic, please share!  Thank you.

You should really talk to an attorney in FL.
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Offline micsager

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 05:04:07 PM »
Denny gives great advice. 

I could give you the answers for Washington State, and it would include dividing the building by lease agreements and physical barriers, you'd be selling beer wholesale to the pub, etc, etc.....

But none of that means anything in Florida. 

Offline jbwolverton

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2014, 10:57:00 PM »
I've spoken to a friend of mine who is a lawyer in Florida, but he specializes in property law.  He suggested I talk with a lawyer who has a focus on this topic.  That will be my next step.  I was polling this forum to see if anyone had already tried to go down this path and could share some experience. 

Thanks for the feedback.  I'll follow up on this thread as I learn more.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 11:02:32 PM »
It depends. I have been in a place that sells their own nano brews along with a lot of other taps, but that is Texas. Here in MI you could do it witha brewpub license, as brewpubs can have guest taps.

The advice you have received is correct - talk to an attorney in FL, as there are 50 sets of laws that apply, one for each state.
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Offline anthony

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2014, 04:14:15 AM »
Seems relevant.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2014, 04:53:05 AM »
That's a great link Anthony!
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Offline jbwolverton

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2014, 12:31:20 PM »
Thanks for sharing that link Anthony.  I'm going to email them today.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2014, 03:03:24 PM »
Whoever owns the brewing equipment needs to have a brewing license. I am pretty confident that FL has a brewpub-type license that he could acquire and that it will allow him to sell other beer (not sure about liquor) on site. I don't know that by reading FL law, just having been inside such an establishment in FL. (There is a pretty good little Belgian beer brewpub in South Beach.) If you plan on owning the brewing side of things then it may not make sense to tie yourself to one bar even if they can buy up all of your production. Undoubtedly you will not be able to haul in your homebrewing rig and brew out of a back room. Somebody will have to comply with TTB and various state requirements for brewing space and licensing. Before your attorney talks to you about the particulars of licensing he or she needs to talk to you about the concept and whether it even makes sense for you.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2014, 04:27:58 PM »
To be blunt, the questions I would ask of anyone considering opening a nano are:

Have you done the math on how much revenue/profit you can actually generate?
Are you able and willing to do this full-time while also working your day job?
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Offline micsager

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2014, 03:56:59 PM »
To be blunt, the questions I would ask of anyone considering opening a nano are:

Have you done the math on how much revenue/profit you can actually generate?
Are you able and willing to do this full-time while also working your day job?

My wife and I own a nano.  There is enough revenue to pay for ingredients/supplies, repair parts, utilities, and an upgrade from time to time.  Some equipment is still capitalized.  We look it as a way to be able to brew a lot.  We simply love making beer, and watch people drink the beer we brewed.  Sure, cleaning kegs and mopping the floor is not the funnest thing I do, but it's a labor of love.  Today, I will work my day job, then go home and brew another barrel of our Amber.   

It's certainly more fun that re-runs of Hogan's Heros.  LOL

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2014, 04:05:54 PM »
To be blunt, the questions I would ask of anyone considering opening a nano are:

Have you done the math on how much revenue/profit you can actually generate?
Are you able and willing to do this full-time while also working your day job?

My wife and I own a nano.  There is enough revenue to pay for ingredients/supplies, repair parts, utilities, and an upgrade from time to time.  Some equipment is still capitalized.  We look it as a way to be able to brew a lot.  We simply love making beer, and watch people drink the beer we brewed.  Sure, cleaning kegs and mopping the floor is not the funnest thing I do, but it's a labor of love.  Today, I will work my day job, then go home and brew another barrel of our Amber.   

It's certainly more fun that re-runs of Hogan's Heros.  LOL

Is there a long term goal of expanding the business or selling it as it is as some point?
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Offline micsager

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Re: Starting a Nano Brewery at an Existing Craft Beer Bar?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2014, 07:40:32 PM »
Nope.