One of my favorite places in my hometown of Boise, ID is a store called Brewer’s Haven. It’s a small business that specializes in local and independent beers. It’s also a store that you can sit down and have a drink in. Every time I go there, I’m inspired to start brewing.
My partner and I have talked about it often as we both have studied business and well, we both really like beer! Being an entrepreneur in terms of homebrewing is different than starting, say, a restaurant, clothing, or retail business. If you, like me and my partner, want to start a home brewing business and are concerned about the legal mumbo jumbo, don’t worry — I’m here to put some things into basic terms and hopefully help you not stress out too much about it. Maybe someday in the future, our breweries will work on a beer together. But until then, let’s just both get our feet off the ground!
The Legality! The Madness!
As with any business, the most important thing to do first is establish yourself legally. Beer Law Center argues that a brewery should either be established as an LLC or an Inc. It’s up to you which you choose — just make sure you do your research first.
Another important thing you’ll have to work out are self-distribution laws. Brewer’s Association has a state-by-state guide to self-distribution laws section on their website. If you live in the U.S., I recommend taking advantage of this. This is the most important legal factor for getting people to find your beer, assuming you don’t have a storefront in your home.
Other than that, you will need to look into a license to sell beer and make sure any place that sells your creations has the legal rights to do so.
Your manufacturing materials are the most important part of starting a brewery, because, you know, you have to actually make the beer. Does your home have enough space to create beer at the capacity you want to sell it? Beer kettles, fermenters, chillers, pumps — all of these can be bought online or at your local brewing equipment store.
Of course after you are done making the beer, you have to package it. Bottles can be bought pretty much anywhere — even on Amazon! Waterproof beer labels can be made with your own printing equipment. Afterward, you can use the self-distributor tips we left above to get your beer out to your community!
Get People to Buy Your Beer
Using proper advertisements, working with social media influencers, and proper SEO skills may grow your business enough to get the word out. However, most likely you’ll have to partner with local businesses and bars so they can put your beer into the hands of your target audience.
Now as with all businesses, you need to very carefully monitor your own prices and financing. You should always be trying to make more than you spend, and you need to be very careful that your pricing will help you make a sustainable profit. When your manufacturers are too pricey or not done well, you lose money and your brewery won’t be able to sustain itself.
Hopefully people will eventually want to buy your beer themselves and distribute them through their own means. If that’s the case, you should make your own personalized invoices to help organize your profits and build your brand name and reputation through the industry, not just among customers.
Have you ever started a home brewing system? What did you find to be the most challenging aspect? How did you get your drinks to your customers? We’d love to hear about it! Tell us your story in the comments below.
About the Author
Avery-Taylor Phillips is a magnificent freelance writer. You can contact her @ email@example.com
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