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Thread: TTB Tap Room Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    14

    TTB Tap Room Question

    How is the tasting room secure from the brewing area?

    I'm debating if I need an actual wall to separate brewing area from tasting room. I've seen some small (nanos) on the internet have a 1/2 wall or appears to be no separation at all. Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    89
    See this report of a fermenter at Franconia Brewing that failed and injured people taking a tour. With that, and splashing chemicals, I would say that you need a separation between the public and your brewing area.

    http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/s...ad.php?t=24089

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    14
    Thanks for the reply. Seeing that makes me not want to have a tour or tap room... not worth it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Chestertown, Maryland
    Posts
    351
    Some nanos I've seen, such as Hess Brewing in San Diego, and Baying Hound Aleworks in Rockville, MD, have no separation between their brewing/tasting areas. In each case, it's one "large" open space for the entire operation.

    Of course, I highly doubt either is brewing during customer hours.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    55

    Don't give up yet

    Quote Originally Posted by lebowski714
    Thanks for the reply. Seeing that makes me not want to have a tour or tap room... not worth it.
    Ledowski

    I wouldn't discount the idea all together if I were you. The tasting room is a huge revenue stream and I've seen many smaller breweries sell out in their tasting rooms.

    The idea is to do it in a way that you can do it safely. Our warehouse space has a large office as we're converting that to a tasting room. I've seen people build a full wall separating the two and put in a large piece of glass to see through (lexan would be better for safety). Still others build a "TTB" wall that is 4 feet tall. As long as you can show the TTB that their revenue is secure, then you shouldn't have a problem.

    Nick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    227
    Definitely do a tasting room and, if you have the time, tours. I only set out to have a tasting room as a kind of showcase for consumers and local bar/restaurant folks. It became a large percentage of our monthly sales revenue. You'll sell lots of beer in growlers - pints, if your state allows it - and cases and kegs out the door.

    Plus, there is no better marketing in the world than direct, face-to-face contact with your customers. Not only do they get a chance to taste and get to know your beers, they get a chance to meet and get to know YOU. Nothing builds loyalty and customer confidence better than creating a personal relationship with the people drinking your beer. Every person who walks out of your tasting room or away from your tours with a full growler and the memory of a pleasant experience at your brewery is worth thousands of dollars in marketing and advertising. And all you spent for it was a little bit of beer and the cash to build a small separation wall.

    As for the separation itself, it was always my understanding that you need something at least 48" high. For our tasting room, I built a railing bar and placed stools there so people could sit and see the whole brewing operation while they enjoyed their samples. You'll need to clarify that with the TTB because mine was built and approved way back in '07. Things may have changed since then.
    Mike Hiller, Head Brewer
    Strangeways Brewing
    2277-A Dabney Road
    Richmond, VA 23230
    804-303-4336
    www.strangewaysbrewing.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    89
    lebowski714,

    I was not saying to not do a tasting room, my perspective is that it should be separated from the brewing tanks. You can do very well financially with a tasting room, as it follows the wine model of getting customers to taste, like, and bring home some of your beer.
    I am just more comfortable of having it in another room. You wouldn't want to have a brew day run over and have people around when you you are trying to finish up.
    As far as tours, you just need to make sure all your tanks and equipment are "tour ready", buttoned up, not ready to explode, and clean.

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