Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Updates Galore!

First, let me say thanks to everyone who has kept pestering me about updating this virtual real estate. I wish I could say that I was backpacking across Europe, or exploring the barley plains of Idaho or even visiting every brewery in North America--alas, that stuff can wait! I have been busy playing 15 months of clean up.

So, you want to start a brewery or a brewpub, huh?

Let me go out on a limb and advertise a book that I read a while back:

[Book: Running a Bar for Dummies]

It's basic, but really helps you establish the groundwork for what you will need to build your own establishment.

Also read Sam Calagione's Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Brooklyn Brewery founders Steve Hindy and Tom Potter's Beer School: Bottling Success at the Brooklyn Brewery; both books will launch you down the path of opening up your business--from business plan, funding, first sales trips, and then success.

More official business

And what do they always tell you about real estate, regardless of the enterprise? LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Before you venture into that old dairy and buy up all the gear, make yourself familiar with any local laws pertaining the establishment you want to run. I suggest heading over to the list of Alcohol Beverage Control Boards. From here, you will be redirected to your state's office concerning the creation/selling/distribution of alcoholic beverages.

Here, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, TTB, are truly there to help. Don't get them confused with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, they are the law enforcement side of the house, and you certainly don't want to warrant a business visit from them.

The TTB is part of the Executive branch, and the applicable laws are listed under the Code of Federal Regulation, Title 27 - Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms; Chapter I--ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO TAX AND TRADE BUREAU, DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY; Subchapter A--Liquors; Part 25--Beer. Please don't try to open your brewery or brewpub in your house, § 25.21 says you can't, go rent a commercial piece of property with enough floor space for food stuff and more than enough space for your brewhouse.

The TTB is the agency that grants all permits to operate an alcohol-related business. They even have a clever little how-to get started in the industry, found here.

Next, comes a whole bunch of fun stuff: paperwork! What, you thought you signed your life away on the commercial property you just agreed to a 12-month lease on? You hands are going to cramp even worse after this run! Again, the TTB succinctly provides you with a quick list of the forms you need to complete, depending if you are going the brewery/brewpub route. And all the while, you should have thoughts of insurance running wildly through your head. You cant do ANYTHING without insurance. (Under TTB's Beer FAQ, item 7.)

I'll check back in with more information later.

(Big ups to Baying-Hound Aleworks.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

I know what you're doing this weekend

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Location:Frederick & Baltimore

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hot fun in the summertime

Apple cider salad with local asparagus, paired with Victory Headwater. Queue the summer!

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