View Full Version : The ins, outs and what-have-yous of selling pilot batch beer

03-13-2013, 09:44 AM
Did a search and couldn't find anything on the subject so.....

We are a production brewery in the final stages of construction. We hope to be making beer by mid April.

We are entering the market with only 2, maybe 3, beers but I wanted to keep quite a bit of variety in the tap room.

We have a Brew magic and plan on making 10 gal batches quite often. We will ferment in 1/2 bbl kegs and carb in 1/6 bbl and 1/4 bbl kegs.

My questions are:

Do any of you sell your pilot batches over the bar?

Is you pilot system shown on the floor plan you sent to TTB?

Do you use final, full kegs as your taxation tank? Are they also shown on the floor plan?

Do you charge more for pilot batch beer? Serve in smaller amounts? Both?

Anything else I'm missing here?

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated...


03-13-2013, 01:26 PM
Most outfits sell their pilots as one off specials in their taprooms.

Generally, you're taxed on packaged beer. We use our taproom sales to calculate that with the respect to the pilot batches. We tend to charge more for our pilot beer, if only to make it even MORE special! Brewing is an economy of scale. If scale goes down, beer become less economical. It's nice to get full retail on your beer, though.

Remember to have your kegs labeled correctly if the ABC comes to inspect!

Our Pilot is on the floor plan...had to be for TTB and for steam/safety plans.

03-13-2013, 01:31 PM
Thanks Natrat,

When you say "labeled correctly" do you mean they need to be labeled "Tax Determination Tank #1" or something?


03-15-2013, 01:05 AM
I'm curious to get more insight into taxation considerations.
We aren't quite open but the pilot is in place

09-25-2014, 10:42 AM
I was just wondering this worked out for you; selling pilot batches that is. I've always thought that it would be a great way to help keep things interesting and as long as the pilot batch turns out well, why not sell it?

I recently visited a brewery that had a competition between the shift brewers. Five or six of them brewed five gallons of their take on the same style beer. I was charged $15 for a 4 oz. sample of each of which half were drain pours. I was disappointed to say the least and I'll avoid that brewery's pilot batches in the future.