Author Topic: Homebrew services for hire  (Read 539 times)

Offline tjadavis

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Homebrew services for hire
« on: April 22, 2019, 01:23:12 AM »
Has anyone heard of businesses that will go to someone’s home and provide homebrewing services for a price? A Homebrew for hire approach for those that think beer or wine making would be fun to do, but don’t want to try before investing fully in the hobby?

Would such a business have to be registered as a brewery?

Offline Tim Cline

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 03:55:05 AM »
Have you checked your local area for homebrew shops or clubs? It is every common for a homebrew shop or club to host a class demonstrating the basics of brewing. Before I started brewing I went to a class on the basics that was hosted by my local homebrew club. It was hosted at a small brewery here in town and the event was great. I got to sample some beers, learn enough to know if I wanted to take the dive into the hobby, and meet some great people. Big Brew Day is coming up. There might even be an event in your area that you might want to check out.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/aha-events/national-homebrew-day/

Offline Visor

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 04:01:12 PM »
   I can't address going to the "customer's" home, but there are people who offer paid homebrewing courses, usually 1 or 2 days, but the course takes place at the instructor's location. You really don't want to be hauling all your truck to the unfamiliar home of a single student when you can host a number of paying students conveniently at your brewplace.
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline kramerog

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 05:33:35 PM »
Where the beer is fermented would determine where the brewery is.  For example, manufacturers of malt extract are not brewers if they don't ferment, but the people who use malt extract  to make beer are brewers.  In your case if the customer ferments at home then the customer is the (home)brewer.  All this is said as a general rule but specific states could differ.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 07:39:12 PM »
If you’re serious about this, I would hire an attorney or talk to state regulators in your state.


Offline Robert

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2019, 07:59:53 PM »
If you’re serious about this, I would hire an attorney or talk to state regulators in your state.
Absolutely. 

As a non expert, two things immediately occur to me.  Under federal law (more liberal than some states' laws,) homebrewers legally are permitted to brew 100 gallons per year, for personal consumption only, or 200 gallons in a household with more than one adult of legal drinking age.   Thus it is technically illegal to share your homebrew with any guest in your home.  This may not be generally policed, but you would be inviting scrutiny, and will be in violation of homebrewing laws if you hold classes in your home and allow students to taste beer.  Second, beyond this, if you allow someone to taste beer in connection with a service or event for which you charge money, you will be seen as selling beer without having a license or paying excise tax.   That will really get you into trouble. 

What laws might apply if you give lessons in the brewer's home I have no idea.  But like Tommy said, talk to a lawyer who knows your state's alcoholic beverage regulations.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 09:05:06 PM »
If you’re serious about this, I would hire an attorney or talk to state regulators in your state.
Absolutely. 

As a non expert, two things immediately occur to me.  Under federal law (more liberal than some states' laws,) homebrewers legally are permitted to brew 100 gallons per year, for personal consumption only, or 200 gallons in a household with more than one adult of legal drinking age.   Thus it is technically illegal to share your homebrew with any guest in your home.  This may not be generally policed, but you would be inviting scrutiny, and will be in violation of homebrewing laws if you hold classes in your home and allow students to taste beer.  Second, beyond this, if you allow someone to taste beer in connection with a service or event for which you charge money, you will be seen as selling beer without having a license or paying excise tax.   That will really get you into trouble. 

What laws might apply if you give lessons in the brewer's home I have no idea.  But like Tommy said, talk to a lawyer who knows your state's alcoholic beverage regulations.

What makes you believe that you can't share homebrew? Federally, you're allowed to brew beer for "personal or family use".

Options:
  • Personal use & family use-Beer can be drunk by the brewer and/or their family
  • Personal & family use-Beer can be used for personal or non commerical use

I'd lean towards the second option, as a non-commercial use. The law mentions that beer can be removed from the property it was brewed on for "including use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions such as homemaker’s contests, tastings or judging. Beer removed under this section may not be sold or offered for sale."(§ 25.206   Removal of beer.) I'm assuming the government knows that not all homebrewers are related to each other, and they simply mean a non-commercial use. This is similar to acceptable personal use of music, software, and other products.

Attorney's are a must for this particular case though. Although I could see you arguing that it'd be no different from a brewery hiring a consultant or contractor to brew a batch of beer. The brewery, not the contractor, would be required to have a license.

Offline Robert

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 09:12:15 PM »


What makes you believe that you can't share homebrew? Federally, you're allowed to brew beer for "personal or family use".



As for non sharing, I was just offering the strictest possible interpretation of "personal and family use," which you need to be aware of in case the regulators in your area decide to apply it.  But that's a question for a legal specialist in the area.   Wilbur, you've demonstrated how arcane the interpretation can be.  (And brewing as a business venture is definitely not non-commercial use.  Any time money and alcohol are in close proximity, you're in potential jeopardy.)


[Example:  my LHBS can give brewing classes.  They can make wort.  But they cannot pitch yeast, because they do not have a brewing license.  (They do have wine making and distilling licenses, and are permitted to serve those products on premises, but no brewing license.)  They cannot provide beer for tasting.]
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 09:31:13 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
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Offline Visor

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2019, 04:49:44 PM »
   If you present the service as education you'd probably be okay, if you present it more as contract brewing or brewing for hire,  then you'll almost certainly run afoul of the law unless you are fully legit, regardless whether you're doing it at the customer's home or at you location.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2019, 05:43:18 PM »
   If you present the service as education you'd probably be okay, if you present it more as contract brewing or brewing for hire,  then you'll almost certainly run afoul of the law unless you are fully legit, regardless whether you're doing it at the customer's home or at you location.
What you call it isn't necessarily how the authorities will see it.  Contact your local Bar Association, and they will know who amongst their membership has expertise in this particular area of the law.  Paying for a consultation up front beats all the hurt you might incur down the road.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2019, 03:28:08 AM »
I'm not sure I see a legal issue here if you are selling your time and rental of your equipment to allow somebody to brew in their own home. It is not materially different from a homebrew shop that teaches people how to brew, sells ingredients and rents out some of their equipment.

But that said you should look at your local market and see how much competition exists in that space. Lots of homebrew shops teach starter courses for free or minimal cost because they can sell starter equipment kits and recipe kits to a captive audience. Some shops also do brew on premises. If you have either or both of these around you then you are probably going to have a tough time convincing people to pay you to come to their house when they can take a few hours away from the family on the weekend to hang out and learn to brew or brew. That does not even factor in all the homebrewers who will happily do the same thing for free.
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Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: Homebrew services for hire
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2019, 11:34:58 AM »
I would think a homebrewer can offer classes in their home with no problem.  However, the beer that’s made cannot go to the customer because that could be considered “selling” and without the proper licensing, that would be a no-no.  That said, I see no reason why that customer couldn’t return after carbonation is finished for a sample to be consumed at the location.
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