Starting a brew club for profit

Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:55 am

I live in Asheville, NC, which currantly holds the "Beer City USA" title. There are 10 breweries in town so I want to do something a little different. I want to start a brew club to sell my brew, but do it like a C.S.A. (Community supported Agriculture) where people pay a start-up and monthly fee and every week or two they get a share of the brew. That way I'm not selling my homebrew outright. The membership dues would pay for materials and labor and the benefits of membership would be: "free" beer, opportunities to brew hands-on and learn about brewing, meetings, speakers, activities, and fellowship. If I send in samples of my personal creations to the A.B.C. to be analyzed and get Product Label Approval by the state, I believe I could refill growlers or sell 6-packs in-house for a fee. In order to sell my brew to a wholesaler I would have to brew it at an actual brewery or a restaurant with a "Brew On Premises" permit. Sounds easy, right? Can anyone find any holes in the legality of my idea?
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:13 am

Re: Starting a brew club for profit

Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:34 am

This is a really cool idea. I feel like to some extent, however, you would likely get the disadvantages of both commercial & homebrewers. Would you have to deal with all the taxes & licensing issues that come with selling alcohol, as well as the federal restrictions on homebrewing quantity?

There's a guy in NY who runs a wine CSA, I'm sure he could answer some of these questions. Let us know what you find out either way. This could be a very interesting way to get good, local, experimental beer out there.
Dubbel H
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:54 am
Location: Athens, GA

Re: Starting a brew club for profit

Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:49 am

It's an interesting idea. I wouldn't approach any state regulator with the question, "Is such and such legal?" Rather, I'd come up with a reading of the law that would allow you to do what you want. Otherwise, you'll have to get the law changed and that won't be easy or simple. I'd locate an attorney who's familiar with alcohol issues.

You will to file paperwork for the state and the feds. CSA or no, the government will tax you and regulate you.
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Tom from Raleigh
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC

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