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Want to open a brewery? Consider cost and licensing

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2021 | Liquor Licensing

Wanting to start a business that relates to a hobby and interest could set you up on a career path that you find fulfilling and enjoyable. For you, the idea of opening a craft brewery may have been something you considered for a long time, but you never knew whether it could pan out for you. When you found others of like mind who you felt could help you on your venture, you knew that your idea could turn into a full-fledged business.

Of course, there are numerous details to consider when opening a brewery that have little to do with the act of brewing itself. You will need to consider equipment, building and zoning rules, and licenses and permits. In particular, you will need to ensure that you can obtain the appropriate liquor license.

Specific costs

Any start-up venture will have upfront expenses that can seem intimidating. For example, before you can even get up and running to make money, you will need to spend money on the equipment to start brewing. That could include barrels, lines, tanks, pumps, filtration systems, ingredients and more. You may also want to keep in mind that, if you have a successful venture, you could find yourself needing more equipment and more space sooner than expected.

When it comes to space, you will need to purchase or rent a space to set up your brewery. The exact type and size of the space you need will depend on whether you plan to solely brew your beer at the location or if you want to brew and distribute from the same location. You may even consider purchasing land and starting a building from scratch, which will obviously result in construction costs.


Starting a brewery involves jumping through the necessary legal hoops. In addition to needing your necessary business licenses and filing the proper paperwork with the state of California, you will also need a federal and state liquor license to brew and sell beer. There are applications involved with obtaining a license from the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and it can take months to get a response to your applications. Additionally, you will need to pay fees associated with your state and local liquor licenses.

It is crucial that your business and liquor licenses are in place before you start taking any steps toward getting your brewery up and running. If you do not, you could face serious fines and other penalties from the government. As a result, you may want to gain more information on license requirements as you get started on your business venture.