Guide to Opening a Nano Brewery

So you are ready to move from homebrewer to commercial brewer, but you want to start small? A nano brewery, which brews anywhere from 5 gallon to 3 barrel batches at a time, may be your answer. There are many reasons why people go this route, but it usually comes down to money. The nano brewing concept allows you to start with less capital than a traditional brewpub or brewery, and some brewers even find a way to keep their day job.

From an nano brewery owner’s view, their operation is a lot smaller and very different from a traditional brewery. From the government’s point of view, they are one in the same. If you plan to sell even 1 pint of your beer, you will have all the same licensing requirement as a craft brewery.

The last couple of years have gotten pretty exciting when it comes to equipment. There are systems available today that can turn out commercial quality beer in batches as small as 5 gallons, and as large as 3 barrels. This guide will show your options for nano-brewing equipment.

The basic steps to getting licensed as a nano brewery in order are:
Create your LLC or Corporation
Get a city or county business license
Get an IRS tax id number
Get a state sellers permit
Get local zoning approval
Get TTB (tax and trade bureau) approval
Get state alcohol beverage control permit
Get city or county health department approval

Nano-Brewing equipment you will need:
Brewhouse (mash tun, hot liquor tank, kettle)
Fermentation equipment
Conditioning equipment
Pumping and Filtration
Packaging equipment
Yeast Handling

The individual skill sets you will need to focus on:
Brewing and Fermenting
Packaging and Serving
Marketing and Distributing

This is an ever-changing document, so check back often.

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