A microbrewery is a small-time brewery, producing beer and ale for local pubs, restaurants and even to be sold individually to consumers. Starting a microbrewery involves significant upfront capital. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal,"it costs roughly $450,000 to $800,000 to start a small brewery." Marketing and selling new beer brands can take on additional costs. Find out what is needed to start a microbrewery in Texas and what laws and regulations to follow to stay open.
Get a Business Plan
Write a business plan. The supplies needed to open a microbrewery cost a significant amount of money. Plan where the operation should be located, what type of beer should be produced and how the beer will be distributed. Texas laws limit the amount of beer a microbrewery is allowed to produce each year by 75,000 barrels or 2,325,000 gallons. Break down the cost of marketing, manufacturing and production. Experiment with or plan what type of beer or ale will be produced. Also figure for excise taxes on alcohol. Although Texas microbreweries are exempt from 25 percent of excise taxes, around $6 a barrel will still be charged.
Decide on a name and file for a business permit or purchase an existing microbrewery. Investing in insurance, labor, machinery and product supplies should be included in the plan as well.
Apply for a Permit in Texas
To open a brewery in Texas, it is required by law to have a permit to manufacture beer. In certain states, microbreweries are allowed to distribute beer to the individual consumer. In Texas, microbreweries are only allowed to sell beer to wholesale distributors in or out of state. Refer to the Alcoholic Beverage Code Title 3, Ch. 12 of Texas. A permit in Texas costs $25 and is good for two years. After the two-year mark, microbreweries will have to apply again for a license. The permit also allows breweries to import malt liquor or ale.
Follow Health Guidelines to Distribute Beer in Texas
Fill out an application with the Texas Department of State Health services to distribute beer. An application will include the legal company name, taxpayer identification number, address, phone number, license number of the company as well as contact and address information for each of the respective owners. Cost of the application varies depending on the type applied for. Follow the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) guidelines when producing beer to avoid E. coli outbreaks in the product.
Alyssa Ideboen has been writing professionally since 2005. She has contributed to several print and online publications, including "Lexington Woman" and "Global Business" magazines. Ideboen holds a Bachelor of Arts in business management and communication from Judson University.