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IAW
12-28-2009, 04:31 AM
I was curious if the following scenario is legal while a brewery is awaiting to receive it's state and federal brewing permit.

Could I have events on a Friday evening where I provide food, music and serve my "test batches" of beer.

I will be leasing a warehouse (landlord is cool with the idea) and will be brewing my beers at home.

Just figured it would be a cool way to let my customers stay in the know on our progress and get feedback about my beers.

I will not be selling anything.

Thanks

BrewinLou
12-28-2009, 07:17 AM
Not absolutely sure about FL law. But it is absolutely against the law to give away alcohol in KY. We have to charge for tastes. But if you were to have a private party with just your "friends".

Kartoff
12-28-2009, 07:22 AM
Be cautious!
I am not trained in legal affairs, but my opinion is that there are many variables that play into what is "legal" and what is not "legal". Is this event sanctioned by your company? Or is this a private party organized by you?

If you are concerned about the ruling authorities, then I believe you are fine with serving beer you brew at home for this event. However, I think it would benefit you to make it clear to your visitors that this beer is not your brewing company's beer, but a homebrew to enjoy while they wait for the real thing.

If someone gets hurt on the site, who is liable? The landlord or you? Obviously the landlord feels free from responsibility. People will always look to deflect blame on someone else and you don't want to be the scapegoat involved in a civil suit.

burcher
12-28-2009, 07:53 AM
My $0.02. One, few people in this world can accurately answer your question. This is an artifact of the state and federal 'systems', the infrequency of the scenario you describe, and the focus of those entities on taxes. There are lots of folks who will give you an answer but they may not be accurate - even from the entities themselves! Two, why invite potential issues with these entities given that you will be dealing with them in the near future? Why jeopardize future relationships with them? I know, advertising is critical and it may be worth it to you to risk this - this is the question you need to answer. I wrestle with this a lot and some day I hope to have a 'real' answer that will protect us but until then no parties at the brewery. Other times I tell myself it's easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission - but I rarely act on this impulse. If someone knows the 'truth' I'd like to know.

Scott M
12-28-2009, 08:53 AM
Have the party, but forget the Beer!! Welcome everyone, talk about your brews, feed them and have a good time without having to worry about issues with you Liquor Control Board or the TTB.

My .02!

GlacierBrewing
12-28-2009, 09:31 AM
I would tend to agree with Burcher and Scott. Remember you are waiting for the APPROVAL of the TTB (maybe even your state and local agencies), why piss in the punch bowl now?

my .01.


Prost!
dave

IAW
12-28-2009, 03:27 PM
I understand the liability issues, but those will be no different than when we are open for biz and we would address that issue when the time comes via insurance.

My question pertains to the TTB. Does the TTB not allow applicants to possess or give beer away in their brewery during the time period they are waiting for their license?

If you are brewing off site and not selling that beer in the applying brewery is that illegal to give it away?

What if people bring their own beer?

I understand everyone's concerns just want to know what is founded in fact and/or experience.

Cheers,

GlacierBrewing
12-28-2009, 03:57 PM
I understand the liability issues, but those will be no different than when we are open for biz and we would address that issue when the time comes via insurance.

My question pertains to the TTB. Does the TTB not allow applicants to possess or give beer away in their brewery during the time period they are waiting for their license?

It has been my experience that the TTB does not consider your facility a "Brewery" until you are issued the approvals by their agency and by the appropriate state and local agencies. While I was waiting for my fed and state approvals, it was well understood that there was to be no alcoholic consumption on the premises. The thought/fear was "what if something bad happens due to someone being buzzed/drunk/stupid/all-of-the-above, if authorities are involved or not, could risk the fed and state licenses even before we have them."


If you are brewing off site and not selling that beer in the applying brewery is that illegal to give it away?

Then you're a homebrewer providing your homebrew to people in an unlicensed brewery. In Montana, breweries are NOT allowed to have any beer on premise that was not manufactured at that brewery. Check with the state liquor control.


What if people bring their own beer?
see above


I understand everyone's concerns just want to know what is founded in fact and/or experience.

Cheers,

it sounds like you're looking for the "magic out" so you can have the party you're bound-and-determined to have. You know how hard it's been to get your brewery to this point. Without the licenses, you're a soda-plant. Call the TTB and ask them. Get it from the horse's mouth.

I said it in my previous post and I'll say it again; why piss in the punchbowl now?
Just wait until you get the licenses.

my .15cents

Prost!
dave

einhorn
12-28-2009, 04:03 PM
Out of limited experience with California's ABC, I have heard that some laws can be interpreted differently by different people working for our alcohol-controlling entity. In Florida, I think that the AB&T would be the people to ask, not the TTB. If you really want answers, go to the local office and ask there. They are the ones who decide if and how Florida's laws are upholded.

IMO it sounds like a private party, not an event which would be under your future license.

burcher
12-28-2009, 05:18 PM
private party on property zoned for commercial business - that may be the issue there. In Virginia, the property MUST be zoned for business purposes and not residential. Seems like that would be the law/rule governing a non-brewery, homebrewed beer, party. Seems that would be a question for the town/community board/planning commission or whomever.

IAW
12-28-2009, 05:29 PM
Dave,

I am not looking for a "magic out" or bound and determined to have this "party", I was just asking questions hoping to get answers based on experience not opinion.

I also was hoping to hear from someone who has done something like this as I know it has been done.

Why would I want to "piss in my punch bowl" as you put it.
I just figured I would ask.

Scott M
12-28-2009, 06:10 PM
Ben, I have never run a brewery operation in Florida so I'm out.

In you shoes though, I would have an alcohol free party, display posters of my beers with discriptives, pass out some schwag and just have a good time teasing the public with what the brewery will be, when it opens.

If you're waiting for someone here to step up and admit they jeapordized their chance at a license to brew for a pre-opening party, you will have a long wait.

Cheers, and Good Luck!!

GlacierBrewing
12-28-2009, 08:27 PM
Dave,

I am not looking for a "magic out" or bound and determined to have this "party", I was just asking questions hoping to get answers based on experience not opinion.

I also was hoping to hear from someone who has done something like this as I know it has been done.

Why would I want to "piss in my punch bowl" as you put it.
I just figured I would ask.


Ben,
My intention was not to piss you off. If I did, I sincerely apologize.
My point is that if you're looking to get the okay from these agencies who are the same ones that might care if you give alcohol away in your proposed brewery by the person who is trying to get the okay from them, this might be a big issue and you could start out your brewery venture on a very bad foot.
I have been involved in several breweries in two states; Colorado and Montana, and both of these would have some level of issue with what you are proposing.
Maybe it comes down to this: What can you gain from this party for your business versus what it could cost you?

Again, sorry if I upset you, wasn't my intention.
I wish you truly the best of luck. I've always felt Florida needed more breweries than it has!

Prost!
Dave

IAW
12-29-2009, 03:54 AM
Dave,

No need to apologize. I asked a question and got answers. Just wanted to hear from you guys before I spoke with the TTB and ABT here in Florida.

I completely agree with everything u said. The risk is not worth it.
But we all know that most laws, when it comes alcohol, are up for interpretation by who ever answers the phone.

Cheers,

beauxman
12-31-2009, 11:14 AM
Went through this last year. According to the TTB you cannot even test brew other than water batches. You are not allowed by the TTB to brew anything regardless of sale. If you were to brew, they would have to witness the disposal and you will have just made a new enemy. I made the decision that it just was not worth the risk, even if it was minimal in my opinion. Go with a party but don't brew. The more people know, the easier it would be for an agency to find out.
-Beaux

IAW
12-31-2009, 12:19 PM
Went through this last year. According to the TTB you cannot even test brew other than water batches. You are not allowed by the TTB to brew anything regardless of sale. If you were to brew, they would have to witness the disposal and you will have just made a new enemy. I made the decision that it just was not worth the risk, even if it was minimal in my opinion. Go with a party but don't brew. The more people know, the easier it would be for an agency to find out.
-Beaux

Thanks Beaux,
I got the same answer from the TTB. Have a good New Years!