Ohio Beer Counsel
Information and Commentary on the Issues Facing Ohio's Craft Beer Community, Breweries and Distilleries - Brewed by the Craft Beer Lawyers of Bruns, Connell, Vollmar & Armstrong's Brewery & Distillery Practice Group



Starting a Brewery is More than Knowing How to Brew

Over 100 breweries in operation and handfuls in planning - Ohio has proven it is fertile ground to start a brewery.  According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sales resulted in a $1.2 billion economic impact to Ohio in 2012.  Opportunity exists, however it requires more than knowing how to brew.  Starting a brewery requires planning, capital and patience.

According to the TTB, "a person may not commence the business of a brewer until the appropriate TTB officer approves the brewery and the brewer's notice, including all documents made part of that notice."  A TTB Brewer's Notice (Form 5130.10) requires a wealth of information and supporting documentation before a brewer is allowed to brew his/her first batch for sale at retail/wholesale. 

The following is a non-exhaustive list of things a brewer should/must consider before applying for a TTB permit. (Most also required for an Ohio permit)

  • Corporate Formation
  • Business Plan
  • Trademark Search/Registration
  • Background Check
  • Financing
  • Securing Brewery Premises (business address required for application as a brewery can't be based out of your home)
  • Equipment

Depending on whether you're opening a microbrewery, brewpub or regional craft brewery, will either lessen or add to the complexity of the work required before submitting a TTB permit.  This, coupled with an over 100 day time to process a TTB permit and obtaining an Ohio permit, ensures starting a brewery is not a quick process.

Of course, once you've taken the steps to submit an application, you want to make sure you properly fill out your application and proofread.  Simple errors can cause additional delay in obtaining your permit.

Contact OBC with questions or assistance with starting a brewery.