Author Topic: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing  (Read 901 times)

Offline CVas

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Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« on: July 14, 2016, 04:34:40 PM »
Hello,

I am a homebrewer in San Diego that has interest in starting to sell my beer. I was wondering if anyone has experience with this and the steps I need to take, I have done a lot of research myself already but there does not seem to be a source that has all the info in one place.

What I am trying to accomplish is being able to sell my beer without opening a full blown brewery (yet). I am concerned with what licenses I will need, right now I am under the impression that I would need obtain either a On Sale Beer or Off Sale Beer and Wine, or possibly a Small Beer Manufacturer License, as well as being permitted through the TTB?

Also I have concerns that I cannot get licensed if I brew from home. Does anyone know this or have experience here?

Any advice would be great appreciated, Thank you!
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Offline denny

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 04:44:00 PM »
AFAIK, it's not possible.  The closest thing I'm, aware of is what Mic Sager does.  He's on the board so you might PM him.  I believe he had to set up in a separate building with all the appropriate inspections and licenses.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 04:46:11 PM by denny »
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Offline gman23

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 04:44:46 PM »
I think it would be much harder to actually go through the steps to sell beer made at your house than actually opening a nano brewery which is basically what you would have to do anyway. Doing it at your house would make it that much more difficult I suspect due to all of the licensing as you noted...
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 05:04:17 PM »
There is/was a guy in Sonoma County that was doing this. Not sure if his or the brewery name.

Even if the state is good with it, you could run into zoning issues as well as county health code requirements.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2016, 05:15:01 PM »
There is/was a guy in Sonoma County that was doing this. Not sure if his or the brewery name.

Even if the state is good with it, you could run into zoning issues as well as county health code requirements.

+1. I know someone whose brewery at his home was blocked because he could not get a variance to his residential zoning.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2016, 06:05:59 PM »
There was a Brewing Network podcast about a nano called Device Brewing. I believe he started it from his garage, though there was discussion about having secured access, etc, so that the authorities were happy that it was a "proper facility". Apparently he had a taped off area in his garage with a lock on the door.

From memory, it sounded doable but dicey, leaving a lot of the "is this OK" up to the discretion of whoever does your inspection or processes your paperwork.

See if you can dig up that podcast and if not let me know and I'll see what I can find.

Offline MDixon

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 10:33:14 AM »
We have a brewery in NC where a business wanted to give beer to it's employees and so they setup a homebrew system in a room and thought they were good to go. The ABC said no and required them to file all the Federal and State paperwork. They are now the only brewery in the state which sells no beer, takes in no sales tax, and brews beer which is not distributed. They even were required to get a server to serve the beer instead of the self serve kegorator they began with.

If you want to sell beer go ahead and get a dedicated space for it and make your life easier. The ideal space would be one that could grow into your future brewery and taproom IMO.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2016, 11:49:27 AM »
The TTB has started to enforce the rule that beer cannot be made in your home for new breweries (I remember reading that somewhere). Detached garages will qualify if they meet all of the other rules, Federal, Stae and Local. I think Mic Sager's brewery is in a detached garage.

Have you talked to any of the 120+ breweries in SD County? Some are founded by homebrewers, and may be helpful. Rip Current and North Park are two started by homebrewers.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2016, 02:14:23 PM »
The TTB has started to enforce the rule that beer cannot be made in your home for new breweries (I remember reading that somewhere). Detached garages will qualify if they meet all of the other rules, Federal, Stae and Local. I think Mic Sager's brewery is in a detached garage.

I've seen this too although I've also heard grumblings that the TTB has started rejecting breweries in detatched garages if they are in residentially zoned areas or too close to a residence on the property. It also seems local governments are tightening the screws on these arrangements as they are discovering the popularity of taprooms and don't want bars situated in the middle of residential communities.
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Offline Chris S

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2016, 03:28:43 PM »
Go over to The Homebrewer on 30th and El Cajon and talk to George or Shawn.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2016, 02:38:11 AM »
What's wrong with small craft taprooms in communities? I'd think it's better than crappy macro bars with people driving home afterwards...
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2016, 04:03:29 AM »
Depends on the neighborhood. I could see it being a huge issue in a 100% residential area. Parking, traffic, and drunk driving are three of the primary concerns I'm sure.

Offline troybinso

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Re: Homebrewer to Pro, Licensing
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2016, 04:41:24 AM »
In my neck of the woods you can have a brewery in an outbuilding in the county, but not in city limits. There are dozens of wineries in the county as well, and a history of home winemaking so I guess there is a precedent. There are good reasons for zoning rules about keeping retail businesses out of residential areas which have all been mentioned previously.

If you really want to start a small brewery be prepared for an expensive and slow endeavor. The current waiting list at the TTB is 160 days. And you must have a lease and the equipment before you apply.