A couple of my buddies are starting a brewpub here in Alexandria, MN. It's our first local brewery in over 70 years, so it's pretty exciting. I've been involved with their brewing journey and helping behind the scenes for a couple years now. Yesterday, we brewed pilot batch #1, an Irish Blonde. We were shooting for 7.25 barrels into the fermenter, and hit it pretty much right on. We still had at least 10 gallons of clear wort in the kettle with a really nice sediment cone in the center from the whirlpool.
Our question is - would it be legal for them to provide the wort to another person rather than just dump it down the drain? For instance, could they each take a bucket of wort home and ferment it as homebrew, to be served through their home kegging systems? Could I take a bucket or two of wort home? Does it have to be a donation-type transaction, or could they actually sell the wort if people bring their own sanitized buckets to fill?
Take it a step further - I was thinking it would be cool to partner with our local homebrewing community for a brew-off. Have interested homebrewers sign up ahead of time, so we know how much extra wort to produce. Maybe each person pays a small fee of $15-20, which would not only pay for the wort, but also pay for eventual entry of their beer into a brewing competition. The homebrewers could choose to take the base wort in any direction they wanted to - yeast strains and ferment temps, secondary additions, dry hops, etc. Schedule a tasting session or local competition 6 weeks later. Possibly even have the winner's beer brewed as a special release at the brewery?
I'm excited by the idea, and wondered how it might work out legally with the TTB board. I haven't mentioned it to the guys yet, because they're busy brewing pilot batch #2, an American Brown ale. Just kicking some ideas around here.