Ah, plastic kegs! One of us mentioned that, but we wondered what the issues would be (leaking, as you mentioned), we wondered too if it would alter the taste? But as many of you are already going the plastic route, I guess it's working. It's a great idea, though, and we'll probably go that route.
Thanks much for the keg info.
Someone wanted to know where we were located - Northwest Illinois, right along the Wisconsin border, in Stephenson County. There are no breweries currently located in our county, haven't been for almost 100 years. As we're planning on only local county-wide sales, we're toying with the name "Stephenson County Brewing Company". It's a mouthful, but it describes us - local beer, local people.
Okay, on to my next question. Paperwork & government!
According to the TTB, the brewery equip needs to be in place & ready to operate before the paperwork starts. Scary situation, that! I read a posting by someone that said they did the paperwork first. Anyone?
I've spoken to the IL health dept (coming in 2 weeks), the IL liquor commission, and the TTB. All have their own inspectors, they say, that have to approve everything.
Can I just say right off the bat that these agencies are already contradicting one another?!?! The IL liquor commission says we have to be zoned commercial. I say we're zoned agriculture, it's a farm. She says well the TTB needs commercial zoning. I speak to the TTB guy, who laughs and says it may not be an issue for us being on a farm. He says the main reason for commercial zoning is that brewing smells. Well, how about my 100 chickens? Those are some smelly coops when they need cleaning. How about the 200 cow dairy farm behind me, or the one down the road?
Oh boy, this will be a fun ride.
So, paperwork first, everyone, before buying equipment & paying anything to the agencies?? I don't want to start plunking down money to agencies until the very end, when I'm 100% sure they are all going to allow us to open the brewery on the farm.
Next I have questions about bonding. Insurance method? Bank line credit option? I personally would lean toward the surety insurance, from what I've read, but I haven't spoken with an insurance agent about this yet.