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Thread: Can anyone give me advice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    3

    Can anyone give me advice?

    Hi. I'm interested in starting a craft-beer company, however I would like to use a contract brewery to actually make my product. I've been trying to gather as much information as possible about how to start-up a business like this. Can anyone answer my questions:

    1. How does a contract brewery work? Do they just make the beer or if I supply them with my label and graphics, do they do packaging, too.

    2. What are some average prices for contract brewery orders?

    3. If I want to distrubute the product myself, going to local restaurants and stores, how do I find out the legalities of this for my state and area? Or, if even opening a business to sell a craft beer is something I can legally do? How do I find out the law?

    4. Any other information anyone could give me would be very helpful.

    Thanks,
    Moon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    East Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    299
    1. How does a contract brewery work? Do they just make the beer or if I supply them with my label and graphics, do they do packaging, too.

    They make the beer, you supply the all the packaging except bottles in most cases. they package it for you and you then pick it up.

    2. What are some average prices for contract brewery orders?

    Pricing is based upon the final product made. the amount of each ingredient and how much they cost, aging time. Finally its also based upon how the beer is packaged keg or bottle

    3. If I want to distrubute the product myself, going to local restaurants and stores, how do I find out the legalities of this for my state and area? Or, if even opening a business to sell a craft beer is something I can legally do? How do I find out the law?

    Inquire about getting a wholesale license

    4. Any other information anyone could give me would be very helpful.

    My best advice it to talk to a contract brewery in your area, if there isn't one then try and find one in your state. Also If you know of a brewer who has made beer under contract before talk to them

    Cheers and good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    3
    Thanks, frigate. That's very helpful.

    So, in terms of packaging, what type of company do I go to to get the things I would need to package the beer? For example, labels based on my design, bottle caps printed for the bottles, the cardboard six-pack thing the beer's sold in (I don't know what that's called).

    Is it just a packaging company that I would contact or is that type of company called something else.

    Know where I might find a list of them?

    ~Moon

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    East Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    299
    I would use the resources directory at probrewer or try talking to a brewery. Just remember you have to order large quantities of packaging to get a decent price ie 10k 6 packs for $.33 ea plus setup.

    heres a start for you http://www.nepacartons.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    East Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    299
    I just looked at your zip code. If you are really just north of LA talk to Michael Bowe at angel city Brewing. just made the transition from contract brewery to brewery. dont' know him myself but he's been around for some time now and would be able to help you a lot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    3
    This helps so much. I'm trying to prioritize in my head now what I need to do to get started:

    1. How do I find out the laws regarding creating (and distributing) a craft-beer company in my area (Los Angeles). Do I need to apply for a wholesale liquor license? Where do I do this and how much does it usually run?

    2. I assume I need to copyright my brand and company name, right? Am I right? How do I do this?

    3. Is someone going to get me for violating zoning laws if I run this business out of my home? (Not a microbrewery...just the company, itself). Should I even worry about this?

    4. I want to sell locally first, to see how it goes before I make a larger investment. What's a good small sized order to start with (via the contract brewing company)? How much does something like that, ballpark, usually run?

    5. Do I need to incorporate my business for tax purposes (and to protect me from liability)?

    6. Is there anything else anyone can tell me that I might not have thought about here?

    Thanks so much for the help,
    Moon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    East Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    299
    1. How do I find out the laws regarding creating (and distributing) a craft-beer company in my area (Los Angeles). Do I need to apply for a wholesale liquor license? Where do I do this and how much does it usually run?

    Talk to the california liqour authority or call up a brewer like angel city or coast range (located in gilroy and do lots of contract brewing)

    2. I assume I need to copyright my brand and company name, right? Am I right? How do I do this?

    Doesnt hurt but I don't know how many brewers actually do.

    3. Is someone going to get me for violating zoning laws if I run this business out of my home? (Not a microbrewery...just the company, itself). Should I even worry about this?

    depends upon state laws
    4. I want to sell locally first, to see how it goes before I make a larger investment. What's a good small sized order to start with (via the contract brewing company)? How much does something like that, ballpark, usually run?

    talk to a brewer. it will be one batch size which varies from brewrey to brewery. you will need to buy a enough packaging to many batches even if you pay top dollar and order the min. req.

    5. Do I need to incorporate my business for tax purposes (and to protect me from liability)?

    depends talk to your small business ass.

    6. Is there anything else anyone can tell me that I might not have thought about here?

    lots

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