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Selling Homebrew Legally

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philrob

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That's bartering, and they'll still get you when they find out. Wouldn't even think about doing it.
I've had people offering to buy my homebrew ingredients and splitting half the bottles of my product. I've declined, as there is no way I want to jeopardise my hard earned $$, and risk losing my RSA licence.
 

contrarian

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Hi I have read most of the replies to your post so I was wondering if it was legal to have someone else supply me with the ingredients and I brew the beer and give the other person a dozen of the bottles. I keep the rest and no money changes hands?
If you used the ingredients to make wort and then packaged the wort in a way that enabled them to transport, ferment and package themselves it wouldn't break any laws as you are not providing anyone with anything alcoholic. As far as I know there aren't any laws against selling sugary liquid...
 

philrob

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LOL. That's selling 1/2 homebrew. I guess it's like selling fresh wort kits.
 

Roosterboy

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I'm pretty sure wort falls through the cracks of food regulations also, of course there is a risk with no chill wort and storing wort for long
periods with very low levels of oxygen that you grow Clostridium botulinum and poison people with toxin.
 

Feldon

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I gave this reply to a similar question posted in this forum four years ago.

(see: Pop up Brewery )

"These sort of questions about going pro pop up quite often, and I've pondered a work-around that might make it possible, and legal.

The main thrust of the law is that if you make beer for sale you come under the federal excise laws, as well as local and state laws and regs concerning effluent discharge, health & safety etc. But the biggie is the federal excise law that is administered by the ATO.

So, instead of selling beer, why not sell wort instead as well as your services as a brewer to make it into beer.

It would work something like this: Get your beer drinking customers to pay up front for the ingredients, power, water etc - all the things needed to make the wort - and a fee for your skills in mashing and boiling it to produce the wort. There's nothing illegal about making wort for a fee. Because its not beer, yet.

I'd ask one or more of my customers to be physically present to pitch the yeast. This is the point in the process when you are turning wort into beer, and you want to make sure its not you that is making the beer. If asked by the ATO what you're up to, you can honestly say "I'm didn't make the beer my customers did. I just made the wort and supervised their fermentation as a contracted brewery hand".

When the beers ready to drink your customers can come to you (or you to them) for their share of the beer according to their investment in the operation.

I think this approach just might work.

Flame away.


But now I would have a van and go around to people's homes. Rent them a fermenter, a fermentation fridge, kegs and a kegorator (I would source a bulk deal with a major maker like Keg King or KegLand etc); and sell them fresh wort kits that I would supply (either made by me or bought in bulk from a micro brewery). The customer would initiate making the beer by pitching the yeast and then I would then work as hired help and put the fermentor in the fermentation fridge in the customer's own garage . When finished fermenting I would rack to kegs in the kegorator and gas up for serving.
 

kadmium

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I'm pretty sure wort falls through the cracks of food regulations also, of course there is a risk with no chill wort and storing wort for long
periods with very low levels of oxygen that you grow Clostridium botulinum and poison people with toxin.
Not this again.
 

kadmium

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I gave this reply to a similar question posted in this forum four years ago.

(see: Pop up Brewery )

"These sort of questions about going pro pop up quite often, and I've pondered a work-around that might make it possible, and legal.

The main thrust of the law is that if you make beer for sale you come under the federal excise laws, as well as local and state laws and regs concerning effluent discharge, health & safety etc. But the biggie is the federal excise law that is administered by the ATO.

So, instead of selling beer, why not sell wort instead as well as your services as a brewer to make it into beer.

It would work something like this: Get your beer drinking customers to pay up front for the ingredients, power, water etc - all the things needed to make the wort - and a fee for your skills in mashing and boiling it to produce the wort. There's nothing illegal about making wort for a fee. Because its not beer, yet.

I'd ask one or more of my customers to be physically present to pitch the yeast. This is the point in the process when you are turning wort into beer, and you want to make sure its not you that is making the beer. If asked by the ATO what you're up to, you can honestly say "I'm didn't make the beer my customers did. I just made the wort and supervised their fermentation as a contracted brewery hand".

When the beers ready to drink your customers can come to you (or you to them) for their share of the beer according to their investment in the operation.

I think this approach just might work.

Flame away.


But now I would have a van and go around to people's homes. Rent them a fermenter, a fermentation fridge, kegs and a kegorator (I would source a bulk deal with a major maker like Keg King or KegLand etc); and sell them fresh wort kits that I would supply (either made by me or bought in bulk from a micro brewery). The customer would initiate making the beer by pitching the yeast and then I would then work as hired help and put the fermentor in the fermentation fridge in the customer's own garage . When finished fermenting I would rack to kegs in the kegorator and gas up for serving.
I can get a keg of microbrewery beer filled into my 19l cornie for $95 from a microbrewery.

You're going to drive around renting people fermenters, fridges, ingredients and what not to ferment them their own beer in their house, which you would need to access a couple of times, as well as explain cold crashing, conditioning, beer line cleaning and maintenance etc and you would have to charge less than $95 a keg finished.

The economics don't add up.

And I'm pretty sure that saying "I didn't putch the yeast" would mean zero to the ATO if you're producing the wort, fermenting the beer, packaging and distributing it. Pretty certain they would go after the packaging and distribution as the point of transfer of goods rather than who plopped a packet of us-05 into a fermenter.

Thats just my opinion. We should also be wary of trying to circumvent or provide advice to people on how to circumvent state and federal laws on excise on an open public forum which is about pursuing the craft of home brewing. That's my opinion, not being rude.
 

Dozer71

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Hi I have read most of the replies to your post so I was wondering if it was legal to have someone else supply me with the ingredients and I brew the beer and give the other person a dozen of the bottles. I keep the rest and no money changes hands?
Just get them to bring the ingredients around and have them stay and do the brew with you. Can ferment at your place as you have the room, then get them to help/do the bottling. They may then leave you some bottles as a thank you for helping/teaching them to brew and borrowing your equipment..
 

Roosterboy

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Not this again.
Sorry for pointing out a small but still a risk.In a world where the first defense is , "nobody told me"...he has been told. It"s not a myth, there are some recent articles on it.
 

kadmium

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Sorry for pointing out a small but still a risk.In a world where the first defense is , "nobody told me"...he has been told. It"s not a myth, there are some recent articles on it.
Hey mate. Probably in hindsight that came across as rude. I was more having like a chuckle eye roll "not this again"
 

David Bullen

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Hey mate. Probably in hindsight that came across as rude. I was more having like a chuckle eye roll "not this again"
No worries, with some hindsight of my own I'm pretty stoked with how my brews are turning out. More for me. The guy who was interested in buying them will have to come around and have a couple with me. On another note can you tell me how long beer will last in pet bottles?
 

sp0rk

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If you used the ingredients to make wort and then packaged the wort in a way that enabled them to transport, ferment and package themselves it wouldn't break any laws as you are not providing anyone with anything alcoholic. As far as I know there aren't any laws against selling sugary liquid...
No, but you still need to be inspected as a food and beverage manufacturing premises and afaik pay for all that.
So there is a cost, but it's not as big as a brewery's costs
 

kadmium

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No worries, with some hindsight of my own I'm pretty stoked with how my brews are turning out. More for me. The guy who was interested in buying them will have to come around and have a couple with me. On another note can you tell me how long beer will last in pet bottles?
I would say 6 months.

It depends on the bottles I guess. I believe Coopers use some form of barrier technology but even so, oxygen ingress is still an issue so I'd say 6 months.
 

paulyg

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Sorry for pointing out a small but still a risk.In a world where the first defense is , "nobody told me"...he has been told. It"s not a myth, there are some recent articles on it.
any chance you could post the links to these articles? i wouldn't mind reading them.
 

David Bullen

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I would say 6 months.

It depends on the bottles I guess. I believe Coopers use some form of barrier technology but even so, oxygen ingress is still an issue so I'd say 6 months.
Cheers 6 months is plenty
 

Grmblz

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There was a fairly big operation in Canberra (Hume an industrial are) warehouse full of fermenters, mills, fridges etc.
They supplied all the gear, and ingredients, and you supplied the labour.
You then went back at the appropriate time and got your brew packaged.
No idea about costs BUT! they went broke, despite good reviews.
Perhaps someone from the ACT can fill in the details.
 

Luxo_Aussie

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I've been asked by countless people 'when will you start selling this' when they've sampled beers - this makes me dream of my own someday but then after some time on google I'm brought back down to earth. It all comes back to time - sure I could make a small profit at smaller volumes but 12+ hours a day, 5-6 days a week, no thanks. Not worth the stress. I'd also be concerned with having a consistent product each time - not a concern when homebrewing but customers might want the same beer more than once.

I think the most profitable way (after a lot of reading) to get started would be a tap house/brewery to help bring revenue from selling pints on location along with kegs to other establishments. Not sure about Bottling/Canning as it would have lower margins given the extra time spent to package. If you're keen then go for it but perhaps talk to some local existing micro operations to see what needs considering before jumping.
 

kadmium

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lostinlaggan

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They did go broke, In a brew your own operation such as this, the tax man still wants their cut. It is no longer home brewing and excise free. The fee is less than commercial product, but still exists.

There was a fairly big operation in Canberra (Hume an industrial are) warehouse full of fermenters, mills, fridges etc.
They supplied all the gear, and ingredients, and you supplied the labour.
You then went back at the appropriate time and got your brew packaged.
No idea about costs BUT! they went broke, despite good reviews.
Perhaps someone from the ACT can fill in the details.
go b
 

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