Here at STB we believe in working our ass off for what we believe in, following our passion, giving back to and working with the community that supports us, being conscious of the world around us, producing the best quality product we can and kicking back with great beer at the end of the day. We are a small MN craft brewery with big dreams of staying small.
This part is for the dreamers out there who see an opportunity to potentially go pro, without excessive startup costs. We are often asked, can I brew commercial beer at my house? Can I open a brewery in my garage? Will TTB license my outbuilding as a brewery? Is it possible to open a brewery on residential property?
The answer is a resounding…maybe! We totally get the desire to try to open a brewery at home. You avoid costly commercial leases. You can build out on a leisurely timeline. Wear rubber boots over your pajamas if you want.
It seems like a tantalizing way to cost-effectively start producing beer, and then sell kegs into the local market. That way, you may be able to generate a bit of brand recognition and see how it goes, before committing to bigger expenses. So what in the heck does that mean? But what is worth noting is that TTB typically analyzes the residential issue in the following way.
A brewery typically may be located on residential property in the following circumstances though TTB has final say: The proposed brewery premises would be in an outbuilding, for example. The outbuilding would need to be secure, with locking doors and windows. We have helped clients obtain approvals for these kinds of properties.
Well, TTB may allow this, although it is subject to even deeper scrutiny. Here, there could not be access between the residence and the would-be brewery.
So, for example, if there is a door into the residence, that would have to be walled off or blocked. If the garage connects to the residence through a breezeway of sorts, it is a closer call. As of the time of writing, we have not had anyone decide to give this a shot.
Keep in mind also that TTB requires that applicants have the legal right to operate a brewery at the specified premises. If you personally own the property, but you have an entity such as an LLC that is going to operate the brewery, then the entity needs to have lease rights to this location.
Moreover, if there is a lease in place, the same rule applies. TTB will need to make sure the entity has rights, via a lease, that allow the production of alcohol. However, it is worth mentioning that even if TTB would be okay with licensing a premises, state or local concerns may get in the way.
Indeed, TTB is a federal agency.
In issuing an approval, TTB is not going to make sure all of the state and local ducks are in a row. TTB makes its independent decision. There is the concern of state regulators, of course. However, there are also potential zoning and code issues to consider. Detached residential outbuilding tends to work.
Zoning Concerns for the Professional Homebrewer Here may be the catch. When you operate a brewery, you are making a form of commercial use of your property. Zoning restrictions may or may not allow the operation of a brewery at the residence. It is an absolute must that the would-be professional homebrewer investigate the zoning of the property.Brewery Business Plan.
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