Selling beer brewed offsite - Nano-brewery start-ups in Qld

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brendan.bb1

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Hey all,

So I would like to ask experts on AHB about the do's and don'ts of starting a nano-brewery in Qld. I have done research and read some past posts and I am very aware of the complexities in this. I'm hoping that someone will be able to offer some guidance before jumping in.

To begin with, I would like to know about the legalities of brewing at somewhere (like Bacchus) and then on-selling to a licensed premise. I see this as a sensible first step to learn proper commercial processes and to 'test the market' prior to investing in equipment and taking the next steps.

An example of this would be 4 Hearts brewing here in Brisbane.

I am aware from previous threads the standard "don't do it" "its too hard/expensive" "you will never make money" comments. We accept that it will be hard and expensive but would much prefer some constructive posts about each step and costs involved

So,...some background...

  • I have an opportunity to sell my beer at a friend's bar - once I am legally allowed to do so.
  • I brew with a friend and we will be splitting the costs of starting up the company, investing in equipment etc.
  • [SIZE=12.8000001907349px]All going well, [/SIZE][SIZE=12.8000001907349px]I would to look at what it will cost and what will be involved with getting set up with a 200l[/SIZE][SIZE=12.8000001907349px] microbrewery.[/SIZE]
  • The 'nano-brewery' would be set up in a relatively large shed behind my house - residential zone.
  • Not looking to sell beer from home at all. Just brew it.

Questions...
  • [SIZE=12.8000001907349px]Firstly, if I am licensed[/SIZE][SIZE=12.8000001907349px] with a (Qld) wholesaler/producer licence and registered as a business can I sell this beer? (brewed at Bacchus)[/SIZE][SIZE=12.8000001907349px] [/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=12.8000001907349px]What are the tax implications in selling this way? [/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=12.8000001907349px]Does the beer need to be labelled in any special way?[/SIZE]
  • If I make the move to a home nano-brewery set up, [SIZE=12.8000001907349px]I am assuming the BCC would want to inspect / approve? Any insight re: this?[/SIZE]

So, in a nutshell: Can anyone offer some insight into the licencing and regulations processes in brewing beer from home for the purposes of selling (by the keg or bottle) to an offsite licensed premises in Qld?

Cheers,
BB
 

jimmy_jangles

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Hey! unfortunately i can't offer any advice on this, but i am extremely interested, as it is something that i would like to look into myself for the future.

having said that if you need an electrician for advice / help setting things up, then i would gladly help out where i can :)

all the best and hope it works out great for you!!!
 

Blind Dog

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If you're serious (and I mean serious as its generally a long, somewhat painful, frustrating and not usually cheap process) talk to your council, State government and the ATO. If it involves brewing or selling beer, you're likely to need licences etc from all 3. Your council will also let you know if you could ever graduate to brewing in your shed (the answer is likely to be no if it's residential, but they might suggest alternatives).

And if you start to get the run around, ask straight up if you're wasting your time or if, when you've jumped through all their hoops you'll get a yes. could save a few years and thousands of dollars.
 

Ducatiboy stu

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Well.....It depends on what commercial arrangement you can come up with

If you can find a licensed brewer who will pay the excise BEFORE you get the beer then that is the better option.

Otherwise you will need to set up a bond store. And you dont want to do that

You want to buy it from the brewery with the excise paid.

And be ready to pay up front. Excise must be paid before it leaves a bond store
 

Kingbrownbrewing

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Might be worth talking to Lee at white lies. He licences his home brewery and does it all from there; bonded area and all. If you are getting someone else to make it, you will end up paying more than you can actually sell the beer for in some cases, better to dig further and make it yourself.
 

Ciderman

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In theory you should be able to brew in a licensed place that is already set up by local council to do so. Where it would get complicated is the excise component as that would usually relate directly back to where the beer was made. Tanks need to be calibrated as part of the process. Obviously Bacchus would have already done that, can you ride on their coat tails? I'm not sure.

Overall having a brief look at ATO paperwork regarding doing this, it would seem unlikely or at the very least you'd have to jump through a few hoops. A simple call to the ATO would give you an answer.
 

crowmanz

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If you are looking at turning part of your house into a brewery from a town planning perspective you may fall under a home based business, under the Brisbane City Plan 2014, depending on your exact zoning this is generally self assessable in the residential zones (e.g. doesn't require approval from council but if you can't 100% comply with the code you will need approval). I know there may be an issue with not having an approval from Council (as it is self assessable) when applying for other licenses, I think white lies ran into this issue.

There is a code you need to comply with
e.g.
  • space cant be more that 50m² or 30% your total floor area,
  • business limited to 8am-6pm, Monday - Saturday (EDIT)
  • max of 1 employee who doesn't live on site,
  • power load doesn't exceed 2.0kW,
  • doesn't use more than 3L per m² of water per day (150L per day),
  • doesn't dispose of trade waste into the sewer,
  • 1 delivery max per day of a delivery vehicle up to 2.5t (no vehicles over 2.5t),
  • 1 customer max visit per day,
  • isn't an industry use.
 

itmechanic

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Basically you are looking for a contract brewer to brew your beer for you until you get setup, they will pay the excise for you and sell the beer to you wholesale.
You will need your own wholesale licence to then on sell the beer to licenced venues.

200L is way too small for a startup, there just isn't the economy of scale needed to make it viable. A minimum of 500L would be preferable, but 1000L would be better.
If you really want to make a go of this be prepared for long days, no time off, no time with the family, not a lot of financial gain....but you will be doing something that you love to do.
 

Natdene

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I had a read through those guidelines and the power / water restriction sounds crazy, am I missing something? It is total connected load of 2kw. A 50l braumeister is 3.6kw? And 3l per m2? Any home base childcare would blow that.

So the way I read it is a small business is a no go (small nano brewery brewing once a fortnight/month), but as a home brewer, brewing once a fortnight/month you can make as much as you want and blow all those numbers out of the water, doesn't make much sense to me.
 

droid

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can't offer advice from a council POV but my research tells me capacity wise - anything less than 7bbl is not enough.
 

crowmanz

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Natdene said:
I had a read through those guidelines and the power / water restriction sounds crazy, am I missing something? It is total connected load of 2kw. A 50l braumeister is 3.6kw? And 3l per m2? Any home base childcare would blow that.

So the way I read it is a small business is a no go (small nano brewery brewing once a fortnight/month), but as a home brewer, brewing once a fortnight/month you can make as much as you want and blow all those numbers out of the water, doesn't make much sense to me.
The provisions I listed are to see if you are self assessable (i.e. you don't need a council application) if you don't comply with these you would need to lodge a code assessable application with council. In a code assessable application you need to demonstrate your compliance with "higher level" outcomes, for the section that talks about power and water use the higher level outcome states:

"Development generates no greater load upon utilities servicing the site than would reasonably arise from a residential use on the site."

You could demonstrate this section by comparing loads and usage from a residential use to your expected load and usage (hard numbers). From reading this about White Lies brewery it seems it is better to HAVE an approval from Council than not.

I apologise if the above probably sounds like gibberish, sometimes it is.

EDIT: add article link
 

Brew Forky

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The first episode of 'Craft Beer Crusaders' starts with Black Heart Brewery, and that set up home based. I know it's a different state, but contacting them might provide a few answers to your questions.
 

klangers

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Don't forget:
  • HACCP (if applicable to your product)
  • Utilities
    Steam/natural gas
  • Electricity
  • Compressed air
  • CO2
  • Refrigeration

[*]Packaging
[*]CIP
[*]Ingredients storage
[*]Maturation and bright beer vessels (if applicable)
[*]Hop and malt storage and handling
[*]Water treatment
[*]Waste water treatment
[*]Maintenance
[*]Public liability insurance
[*]Logistics and warehousing
I do design and project management work in the brewing industry and have seen many people get caught up in the brewhouse, and forget the equally critical other links in the chain. This results in a woeful under estimation of the costs involved.
 

pcqypcqy

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For those shocked at the limitations of the criteria above, this is how Councils try to make sure that only residential things happen in residential areas. i.e. They can't explicitly state "no nano breweries in residential areas" in planning codes/legislation, but they make it damn hard for you to comply with the permissible criteria.

To me it sounds like the only thing that would fit within that self assessable criteria is to have a home based, one-man-band type service that doesn't involve customers, like professional consulting or a web based business.

2kW and 3 litres /m2 would certainly preclude most Australians from residential areas if they were the hard limits.

As crowmanz pointed out, you can exceed these but then you have to jump through hoops to demonstrate the impacts and yada yada yada.
 
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