Author Topic: What do I need to start my own commercial brewery for my own restaurant?  (Read 2390 times)

Offline sbechtold

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Hello guys,

I am a home brewer and owner of a German restaurant. We are already selling imported beer from Germany so we have a beer and wine license. After having a couple friends tasting my home brews they asked me why I am not selling this at the restaurant?

I thought about that and here we go. I found it extremely difficult to get clear answers from health department and ttb. Since I am based in Vegas I already know that your brewery has to be in a M1 or MD zone. I would like to know what the brewery needs to look inside. I am sure you need some kind of ventilation, FRP walls. Where do you ferment beer with a certain temperature range? (cause a regular commercial fridge will only go up to 45 F, same with walk in coolers)

Thanks for reading and I appreciate any help to get me the right direction.

Seb

Offline majorvices

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Literally you are going to have to apply for your brewer's licence with the TTB. They are going to want to see a blue print of how your brewing equipment will be set up, what size all your tanks are, how do you have the calibrated, etc.

You also have to make sure your building is up to code for whatever size brewery you want to install (and frankly, if you aren't going at least 1-3 bbls it is a waste of time and effort. Think about the time it taskes you to brew a 10 gallon batch, and divide that by the amount of pints you can sell minus your ingredient cost, and you will see that you are actually in the hole unless your time means nothing to you). They are going to want to see a wet area, possibly a solid waste interceptor, certain types of lighting, some of this stuff you probably already have to deal with for your restaurant.

Local code is going to be completely up to your local authorities. Are there any other local breweries in the area? You might start with them.

Offline sbechtold

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Hey thanks for the quick answer. Yes the brewers license from the TTB I have to apply. I am just concerned about the fact that they might need up to six month to approve that. So that means I have to rent a space, give them the blueprints and then wait until they approve?

I am selling currently 80-100 gallons of beer at the restaurant a month, If I would be able to cutoff my distributor and sell my own beer, I hope that this will be a good start. Also would be the question: can I brew the beer and sell it directly at the restaurant or is there a step in between?

So the wet area means like tiles on the floor or a concrete floor like I have in the restaurant with a floor drain maybe? on the walls the FRP?

I have a couple local breweries in town, you think they will answer a couple questions like: how does your brewery look like, what is mandatory to get approved by the TTB?

Online Stevie

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Talk to brewpubs. I'm sure somebody will be willing to talk.

Offline a10t2

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I am selling currently 80-100 gallons of beer at the restaurant a month

Unless you're planning to quintuple that, brewing isn't worth your time.
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Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
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Offline sbechtold

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I am selling currently 80-100 gallons of beer at the restaurant a month

Unless you're planning to quintuple that, brewing isn't worth your time.

hm. ok my calculation was: 100 gallons = 380L. I am selling my beer for $6.50 for 0.4L = 950 beers / month = 950 * $6.50 = $6175. If I am not wrong with this math I do not agree. My plan is just to find a place big enough to produce this amount of beer with room for expansion to maybe 3 times as much. I am NOT planning on selling my beer anywhere else.

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You're assuming the beer you brew is worth $6.50.

Hey-oh!  ;)

But in all seriousness, both of the other guys are pros. Their advice is likely solid. Check with people nearby. Only they will know what is and isn't doable in your area.

Offline sbechtold

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No you are absolutely right, I will go to those places and ask. I need to find out the needed budged and one time cost to start operating. I think one of my questions is definitely to find out the time frame. Renting space applying for license, receiving the license. The local guys should be able to answer that.

But talking about the price, this $6.50 is because I am selling directly to the costumer. If you go to any place here in Vegas and you order a local beer you will end up paying $7-$12.


Offline a10t2

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hm. ok my calculation was: 100 gallons = 380L. I am selling my beer for $6.50 for 0.4L = 950 beers / month = 950 * $6.50 = $6175. If I am not wrong with this math I do not agree. My plan is just to find a place big enough to produce this amount of beer with room for expansion to maybe 3 times as much. I am NOT planning on selling my beer anywhere else.

I'm sure your math is right, but that's 3 barrels. Per month. I'm assuming you want more than one style on tap so you're talking about brewing roughly 1 bbl batches roughly once a week. The $100 in raw materials is trivial, sure, but how about the 10-20 hours a week in labor? How long will it take to amortize the equipment and other startup costs? Even at steady-state, can you make that little beer for less than you're paying now? My guess would be yes, but not by a whole lot.
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Offline majorvices

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Hey thanks for the quick answer. Yes the brewers license from the TTB I have to apply. I am just concerned about the fact that they might need up to six month to approve that. So that means I have to rent a space, give them the blueprints and then wait until they approve?

I am selling currently 80-100 gallons of beer at the restaurant a month, If I would be able to cutoff my distributor and sell my own beer, I hope that this will be a good start. Also would be the question: can I brew the beer and sell it directly at the restaurant or is there a step in between?

So the wet area means like tiles on the floor or a concrete floor like I have in the restaurant with a floor drain maybe? on the walls the FRP?

I have a couple local breweries in town, you think they will answer a couple questions like: how does your brewery look like, what is mandatory to get approved by the TTB?

It's been 6 years since we applied for our TTB approval so some of my memory is a little rusty but I remember we basically had to have a diagram on how our tanks were going to be set up, what volumes each vessel was, etc. And they came and checked us about 3 months after we were opened and then again about another 6 months after that. (Not saying they will visit YOU just saying it could happen.)

TTB doesn't really care about anything except collecting taxes, if you aren't distributing out of state you don't even have to have formula or label approval through them. That will be from your local ABC (or whatever it is called.)

You are going to have to be aware much more on a local level on what you can and can't do. Since you own a restaurant you should be familiar with some of this. 

If a local brewer won't talk to you talk to an architect who has worked with a local brewer. They will be aware of all the codes and what you will need to get your brewery opened and cleared at the local level.

Offline sbechtold

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Hey major,

thanks for the info. Am I understanding that right. I could go rent a space, apply for the brewery license, setup my brewery and start. They will show up after a certain time and check everything?

Also with the architect that is a good idea. I will talk to them next week and see for further steps. Thanks guys

cheers!

Offline denny

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I am selling currently 80-100 gallons of beer at the restaurant a month

Unless you're planning to quintuple that, brewing isn't worth your time.

+1
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Offline toby

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There's so much local regulation involved for what you're asking that nobody is going to be able to answer your question unless they already own/operate a brewpub in NV. You'll need to look into the state and local laws to determine what's involved. In Louisiana, you couldn't brew elsewhere and sell exclusively in your restaurant (because of the way the laws interpret the tiers). You would either have to brew and sell exclusively on the same site, or go through a distributor and have the brewery or restaurant owned by someone else (since the laws prevent a tied house type arrangement). Nevada laws may be drastically different.