I am looking for information on opening a Picobrewery or a very small Microbrewery in Pennsylvaina. I have been searching for a while, but have been unable to find any information on what laws/licenses are required. I also believe this may be called a "restricted" brewery license, but can't find such information for PA.
Whether this may or may not be realistic, I am hoping to open a small brewery (distribution only, to start) in an outbuilding on my own property or in an industrial warehouse. I know that many Belgian breweries operate in this fashon, but I don't know if it's feasable here in the US.
Any help would is greatly appreciated!
I'm also starting a brewery in Pennsylvania. What I did was actually go to the PLCB website where I found a link to the entire Article 4 of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code. I read the whole damn thing. More recently, I talked with a local PLCB agent to clarify things and made sure I understood all the regulations, licencing and taxes. It may also be a good idea to contact a lawyer who handles PLCB cases and find out what he or she knows.
The zip code listed on your public profile is for Downingtown, correct? You've got Victory Brewing Company right there. I suggest making an appointment to talk with the owners/managers and find out what they went through. They might be willing to help.
At any rate, you've got a long path ahead of you. I spent nine months researching and developing my business plan. I've spent the last six talking with lawyers, lenders, potential partners, accountants and bar/restaurant owners. These fine folks here are a tremendous resource, but try to avoid seeking easy and definitive answers here. Everyone's brewery is unique. Locations, markets, clientele, styles, and attitudes all together make it difficult to settle upon a specific model to follow. The tactics that made someone else's brewery successful won't necessarily apply to yours.
Good luck and feel free to send me a private message if I can be of assistance.
Did you find any lawyers that are familiar with the PA brewing laws, or did you just use any old attourney? If you found someone familiar would you mind sharing their name?
PA liquor law Attorney
This might be a place to start. Fran used to work for the PLCB now he is in private practice. For an attorney he's a really good guy.
Francis X. O'Brien F.X. O'Brien Associates, LLC
411 Walnut St.
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Hope this helps.
Church Brew Works
No, I did not find a lawyer familiar with the PA brewing laws. Right now, I'm concentrating on establishing the company and raising capital, so I'm working with a business attorney who specializes in small business start-ups. When I'm ready to face the PLCB and the TTB, then I'll look for a "liquor lawyer." I might actually track down Mr. Pearson's suggestion there. He sounds promising. "For an attorney he's a really good guy" is saying a lot. You'll probably be able to find a decent "liquor lawyer" in your area. I'm sure a few of the bar/restaurant owners around you will point you in the right direction.
Bryan, thanks for your recommendation!
Tremens and tsewong: I sent you PM's, if you get a chance please read and reply.
Excellent info guys, I'm also in the early stages of a PA brewery plan so this thread was a nice find.
So you're aware the TTB has free seminars to get licensed. Having gone through it I thought it was very easy. People pay attorneys outrageous sums of money for something that's free. Where do you think the attorneys learned the process?
TTB is a cake walk compared to the PA LCB although...
Are there any overseers of the operations like the FDA/USDA? Mostly from what I can gather from the PA and TBB sites are that they are interested in names, colas, and taxes. But nothing in relation to site inspections. I assume someone performs that function and I am missing it?
The PLCB will inspect your areas for alcohol consumption and production during the application process. There are no online forms for brewery applications, you must call the Bureau of Licensing. The ATF may not bother inspecting, depending on application.
I am in the very early stages of starting a brew pub in New Jersey. I need to acquire all the information I can to see if this is even possible. Its a great concept and I think it could be a tremendous opportunity. Any and all suggestions will be of great help to me.