Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

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supertodda
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Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by supertodda » Fri May 18, 2018 9:34 am

Hello,

I'm investigating setting up a "commercial" micro (pico) brewery in my house in the UK to sell the odd keg of beer either to a local pub or a farmers market. I don't want to go large scale, probably less than 1 BBL operation in my spare time.

I've searched this forum and others and I can't seem to find a definitive answer on the following topic, so I'd be grateful if somebody with actual experience (not speculation) could take us through the step by step of obtaining the necessary licenses and approvals from HMRC and the local council to start to brew beer that can be sold under an LTD company.

Also, has anybody successfully sold beer at a local pub or farmers market? How about out of a trailer at events? If so, how did you go about setting this up?

FYI... I've ordered the book that people recommend, The Microbrewers Handbook, however, there are issues with their download link. I'm hoping to find some specific and definitive answers to the ones above.

Thanks in advance!

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Crastney
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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by Crastney » Fri May 18, 2018 12:20 pm

well I was going to post a reply, but you don't want speculation, so ...

from what I've seen on here, the vast majority of people are home brewers, who don't sell their beer (obviously), and very occasionally we get someone like yourself who wants to go commercial, and asks for advice. the general advice given, as I'm sure you've found out is that a micro/small brewery is a hobby, and not going to make you your fortune, and there's so much red tape that most people get put off going through with it, and especially a very small brewery of the size you're talking about.

so you'll find that there are very few people with actual experience of doing what you're going to do, and those that have, are not home brewers anymore, so probably don't post on this forum anymore. If they get into the brewing they'll find they don't have any spare time for internet forums.

reading the book suggested is a good start, and I hope you get out of this whatever you go into it hoping to find. Make sure you do everything by the book, because mistakes can be costly when you're working on such a small scale. I wish you all the luck in the world!

oh, and make sure the beer is good.

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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by HTH1975 » Fri May 18, 2018 12:27 pm

HMRC site has everything you need to know.

The whole bonded warehouse thing had my head battered. I’m sure HMRC seem to suggest that you pay duty in advance each month based on projected sales. You’ll need a reasonable amount of cash flow to get off the ground.

Plenty people have 5BBL setups and smaller, so it must be doable.

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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by MarkA » Fri May 18, 2018 12:30 pm

HTH1975 wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 12:27 pm
HMRC site has everything you need to know.
That's exactly what I was about to type. Also, have a chat with a local microbrewery in your area, at least then you will know it is solid, correct advice and not speculation from an internet forum.

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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by simon12 » Sat May 19, 2018 12:23 pm

Registering with HMR C for the brewery will be fine as your basically applying to pay tax. Where you will have problems is the council as you should have B2 planning for a brewery and A4 for a pub and a premises license to sell alcohol and Its unlikely you will get any on these on a residential property but it depends on your council. You can see my recent application for a micro pub and brewery here https://pa.sevenoaks.gov.uk/online-appl ... KNJBKK5Z00 search 17/04049/FUL if the link doesn't work. To sell trade you need to register for AWRS and to sell at events check if the event has an alcohol license if not you can apply for a temporary event notice. I'm happy to elaborate on any of the above if you want.

supertodda
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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by supertodda » Mon May 21, 2018 9:11 pm

Thanks for the responses. I understand from my research that micro brewing (anything less than 7 BBL) is pretty much a sink of time and money. I'm thinking even smaller scale, like I do my normal homebrew, make a few larger batches, then every once in awhile sell the odd keg to the local pub or sell some at the local farmers market. I wouldn't quit my day job, but maybe pick up a little spare cash and have the pride of selling my brew to the local community.

Has anybody done this sort of thing before (without committing to a larger operation)?

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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by IPA » Tue May 22, 2018 7:29 am

supertodda wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 9:11 pm
Thanks for the responses. I understand from my research that micro brewing (anything less than 7 BBL) is pretty much a sink of time and money. I'm thinking even smaller scale, like I do my normal homebrew, make a few larger batches, then every once in awhile sell the odd keg to the local pub or sell some at the local farmers market. I wouldn't quit my day job, but maybe pick up a little spare cash and have the pride of selling my brew to the local community.

Has anybody done this sort of thing before (without committing to a larger operation)?
Been doing it for years but this is rural France where there is a much more relaxed attitude to this sort of thing. Don't ask and they won't say no.
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Sadfield
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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by Sadfield » Tue May 22, 2018 10:00 am

supertodda wrote:I'm thinking even smaller scale, like I do my normal homebrew, make a few larger batches, then every once in awhile sell the odd keg to the local pub or sell some at the local farmers market. I wouldn't quit my day job, but maybe pick up a little spare cash and have the pride of selling my brew to the local community.

Has anybody done this sort of thing before (without committing to a larger operation)?
I have a friend who set up on a very small scale in his garden shed. He makes it work, however he can't legally homebrew on the same kit in the same space. The shed is an area of Duty Suspension, any homebrew that leaves it would then be liable for duty. So, he only brews commercial batches.

From HMRC.
wrote:If the beer is subject to duty suspension arrangements, the Beer Duty on it becomes payable at the time it passes a duty point. That is when it leaves duty suspension. For example:

when the beer leaves duty suspension for sale on the UK market, including in your own retail premises

the beer is consumed

you decide you want to pay the duty early, perhaps for accounting purposes - this is called ‘constructive removal’

the beer is lost or stolen




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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by Meatymc » Tue May 22, 2018 12:05 pm

IPA wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 7:29 am
Been doing it for years but this is rural France where there is a much more relaxed attitude to this sort of thing. Don't ask and they won't say no.
Classic!

I do love the rural French attitude. Let the politicians and officials fight tooth and nail to get some ludicrous regulations put in place and then, on a local level, if you don't like 'em, ignore 'em - the good old 'gallic shrug'.

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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by oldbloke » Tue May 22, 2018 1:35 pm

supertodda wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 9:11 pm
Thanks for the responses. I understand from my research that micro brewing (anything less than 7 BBL) is pretty much a sink of time and money.
Chap I know locally recently set up a 5BBL (I think - maybe 7) brewery with his severance money plus his mate's contribution. They're doing OK - prizes even - but I dunno what his profit/loss bottom line is. https://eaglescragbrewery.co.uk/
I don't think you want to go smaller than 5 as a commercial venture. Below that it's a hobby that might bring in few quid occasionally.

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MarkA
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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by MarkA » Tue May 22, 2018 4:24 pm

Have a read through this thread HERE - Rothes brewery started out supplying a few local pubs and has now had to expand (to as big as his garage will allow!) but 200 litre is possibly around the size you're thinking?

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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by Secla » Tue May 22, 2018 5:54 pm

There's a lot of red tape and regs/paperwork to do to supply the odd keg here and there.
There's a few people local to me who brew on 200l kits but it's not a money maker at that scale

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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by HTH1975 » Tue May 22, 2018 8:25 pm

If you really want to brew and sell the odd batch, you might be better off approaching a local microbrewery and seeing if you can brew on their kit. I can’t imagine there would be much profit left by the time you rent someone else’s gear, but people DO cuckoo/gypsy brew and make it work. Might be easier in terms of going legal too.

supertodda
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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by supertodda » Tue May 22, 2018 9:16 pm

Yeah, contacting the local micro brewery might be the way to go, they might want the extra income too.

Has anybody heard about these brewery incubators in the states? They sound like a really great idea. Anybody out there who has a brewery with spare capacity want to start one up (and lives in South East UK)? ;)

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Re: Selling Beer Brewed in UK Residence Locally

Post by Horatio » Tue May 29, 2018 10:04 pm

I did this. We started out with my old home brew kit and produced a single Firkin with every brew. Registering with HMRC is the easy bit, they want your money! You’ll need permission from your local council for planning and environmental health etc. Talk to them first as they are usually very helpful and will guide you towards what they expect. My council planning were only concerned about trucks delivering ingredients and so on. I had to convince them that I would only have one or two truck deliveries a month. AWRS didn’t exist when were brewing at home but was easy enough to do when it came into force. We soon ran out of room and needed to expand but I managed a year at home before I rented a unit and got bigger kit.

Talk to the council and HMRC; they are usually more than happy to help and tell you what you need to do. Be prepared for a load of record keeping!

Good luck.
If I had all the money I'd spent on brewing... I'd spend it on brewing!

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