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Author Topic: contract brewing rates?  (Read 2342 times)

Offline chinaski

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contract brewing rates?
« on: August 31, 2023, 01:14:56 pm »
Anybody have any ideas of what is costs to have beer contract brewed on a relatively small scale (maybe 10-15 barrels)?  An interesting opportunity to has come up quick and it would be useful to have some idea of costs that I can bring to someone who is interested.

Many thanks as always!

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2023, 03:25:25 pm »
Not to douse your enthusiasm, but typically the contract brewer (wort maker or full blown fermenting brewer) contracts with the holder of a license to produce the beer for the second entity to distribute.

I suppose you might be able to talk one into making the beer and distributing it as their own through their own packaging and labeling, but there are a lot of limitations in producing alcohol commercially.

Best of luck.
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2023, 03:32:36 pm »
the minimum order quantity will vary a lot between individual contract brewers. i dont have a clue on rates, but i know there is a brewer near me (and likely far from you) who specializes in fairly small ones.

you might even consider a good quality u-brew place for that small?

you'll just have to get contacting people in your area i think

Offline chinaski

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2023, 03:57:49 pm »
Not to douse your enthusiasm, but typically the contract brewer (wort maker or full blown fermenting brewer) contracts with the holder of a license to produce the beer for the second entity to distribute.

I suppose you might be able to talk one into making the beer and distributing it as their own through their own packaging and labeling, but there are a lot of limitations in producing alcohol commercially.

Best of luck.
No dousing taken as my enthusiasm ain't high- just trying to see what costs might be.  I suppose what I'm really talking about is asking a brewery to collaborate and brew a unique one-off beer under their label and distribution for a price.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2023, 12:36:36 pm »
I've heard prices run around $200-250/barrel but that's really just to brew the beer and put it in packaging. The cost can vary considerably based upon how the beer needs to be packaged and how it can be delivered to the contractor. If the beer requires label approval (even a keg label may require new approval) or has to pass through a wholesaler, those are going to increase the price significantly.

Probably easiest to reach out to several smaller breweries in the area and ask if they can do this and what they would charge.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2023, 08:26:42 am »
I few thing up front.

Contract brewers do not want to do small batches. For 10-15BBL you are looking for your local brewery that usually do not contract brew.

Most likely you need to have your own kegs (clean). Brewery can provide cans and order labels. You provide artwork.

You make payment for contract brewing before work is done.

You remove your beer in timely matter. Brewery will not hold your beer.

Now how much is it per BBL?

Ask the brewery what is willing to do contract brewing for you what is price of their comparable beer in 1/2. Then you subtract your packaging cost and sales/distribution cost and you have price.

Price for cans is going to be different then 1/2s.

Hope this helps.
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Offline goose

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2023, 08:54:07 am »
You may have to deal with registering the label for the beer with the Feds and possibly your state liquor board as well.  Check you state's liquor laws.  The brewery may also be able to provide you with this information.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2023, 10:23:13 am »
Sorry to interrupt again.

Label will be a contract brewery job since you do not have brewers permit (federal and state).

When you are contract brewing, you are just a wholesaler/retailer. You probably have to have that squared up if you contract brewing is for resale.

You do not have to have brewers permit unless it is alternative proprietorship. But question was about contract brewing.
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Offline Kevin

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2023, 11:49:38 am »
When I worked at a local radio station we had two advertising clients that were/are craft brewers. Being a homebrewer I raised the question of having one of them make a beer from one of my recipes and labeling it with the radio station branding which they could sell in their tap rooms and bring to local festivals and events that we were involved with. Both said they wouldn't use my recipe but that they could label one of their existing beers.

Unfortunately for our station by the time we got the green light from management our direct competitor across town had already done it with another craft brewer and began heavily promoting "their" beer. At that point for us to continue would look like we were just copying their promotion which would just feed into their marketing message. They had that beer on tap at bars and restaurants and eventually distributed in 16oz cans to local retailers. Every time they were at a festival or event with a beer tent it would be served there. I don't know if they just happened to have the same idea at the same time and moved quicker than us of if they caught wind of what we were planning and again, moved quicker. But it was quite the coup and a bitter pill to swallow.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2023, 06:53:11 am by Kevin »
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Offline chinaski

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2023, 01:50:17 pm »
Thanks all for the replies- very helpful.  My situation is most like the previous post where my employer is thinking of a promotional beer/event.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: contract brewing rates?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2023, 03:15:49 pm »
May be what would fit better for you is to do a “white label”.

What it is is you would approach local brewery and asked them if you could buy beer from them and “sell” it or use it for promotion under your company name.

Then the rules of regular retail would apply for you.

Still if you are using alcoholic beverage at a trade show or even, you have to have alcohol “event” license that is issued by local municipality.

If it is trade show that someone else organize, you have to have permission of trade show organizer. Not sure who would have to get event license.
Na Zdravie

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