Brewery Startup Series #8: Timeline to Opening

How long does it take to open a brewery? I’ve put together resources as a part of our Brewery Startup Series in the past. I thought it was time to revisit the milestones we’ve provided, putting the brewery startup process into a helpful timeline for those thinking about getting started. This is a sketch of what it looks like for most emerging alcoholic beverage businesses, getting at how long it takes to open a brewery:

8+ months out:
-Business Planning: Put together a business plan, consider whether investors are needed. If so, you may need to add to the timeline, to compliantly raise funds and bring those investors onboard.

7-8 months out:
-Business Setup: Form your entity, obtain an Employer Identification Number, Open a Business Bank Account, Fund the Account. This comes first.
-Get an Operating Agreement together that guides decision making, transfers of interests, and sets forth the business and management structure.
-Take steps to clear your brewery name.
-As soon as the entity comes together, file for protection for your selected and cleared brewery name. (Can do this up to 3 years or so before you open, but best to wait until the entity is in place.)

5-6 months out:
-Begin seeking out space, negotiate a lease.
-Once a lease is in place, kick off federal licensing as much as is possible.
-Order equipment.

1-2 months out:
-Tee up the state licensing process as much as possible so that when federal comes in, you’ll be ready to submit.
-Obtain federal approval and submit to state.
-Submit label approvals to TTB or the state, if required.
-Clear and protect all important brand material, such as the brewery logo and flagship beer names.

There are many sub-steps of course, and the scope of the project and commitments of the founders may affect the timeline a good bit, but those are the big milestones. If you have a good idea of your team, a handle on brewing, and a vision of what you want to do, this is a realistic look at how it works for many brewery startups. We’re here to help for those who have questions or are looking to fill in the gaps.

Read More

TTB Permits Online Makeover + Mac Compatibility!

Well, wouldn’t you know it. Just after I found a working solution to using TTB Permits Online and my Mac and wrote about it here, TTB gives Permits Online an unexpected but very welcome update. In a post yesterday, September 2, 2015, TTB announced Permits Online 4.2. Here are the highlights:

1. Permits Online is truly Mac compatible. Finally! As a part of that, you can now upload documents with ease—and without installing Microsoft Silverlight. This is the biggest one for me.

Here are the browser versions it works with on Macs and PCs alike (it may not look perfect in browsers other than Explorer for a little while, but Permits Online is fully functional, they’re just working out cosmetic kinks):

  • Apple Safari 6.0 or higher
  • Google Chrome 42.0 or higher
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 39.0 or higher

2. TTB Permits Online 4.2 has also pulled the +4 zip code (four zip) requirement for addresses, so you only need to enter in the first five digits (the ones we all use anyway). This will save a bit of time and source of delay for new permittees.

3. There’s an Auto-fill button for addresses (but I’d suggest using it with caution—make sure the premises address is the one you want!).

All in all, I’m really glad to see this update take place. Nice improvements no matter what kind of machine you use, but all of us diehard Mac users have the most to be happy about!

TTB Introduces Permits Online 4.2 with...wait for it...Mac compatibility! I've been hoping something like this was in the works.
TTB Introduces Permits Online 4.2 with…wait for it…Mac compatibility! I’ve been hoping something like this was in the works.


Read More