First steps

Thank you everyone who has been following along and the kind words and support you’ve already offered!  I thought I would try to elaborate a little on what my initial timeline is looking like.  Also I am happy to report that I’ve filled articles of organization for Broken Oak Brewing LLC and have registered with the IRS for an Employer Identification Number!!  Having an EIN allows me to do fun things like pay taxes and open a bank account!

The next step toward being able to sell beer is working towards getting approval through the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).  Getting approval through the TTB requires compliance with of lots of different regulations regarding the physical structure where you are planning to have the brewery, environmental impact and how you are going safeguard your beer for proper taxation.  Part of submitting for a license is having complete plans for the layout of your brewery, including the equipment you going to use.

After submitting the paperwork to the TTB you then have to wait to hear if you are approved which is on average a 90 day waiting period.  It seems that there is a wide range of experiences with the TTB both good and bad so cross your fingers that when the time comes I end up having a positive experience with the TTB agent.

Once paperwork has been submitted to the TTB I will also file to get approval through the Oregon Liquor Control Commission which carries its own specific requirements.  Currently the plan is to file as a brew pub because in Oregon this allows you to self distribute beer as well as sell beer on premise for consumption regardless if you are actually planning on serving food or not.  Oregon is one of a handful of other states with reasonable regulations where this is possible which is another reason why the nano industry is so successful here.

In addition to both the TTB and the OLCC to open a brewery you also have to file with the Food and Drug Administration.  Filing with the FDA is pretty straight forward and free (yay!) but its another hoop to jump through. The TTB and the OLCC both collect excise tax on any finished beer that is sold so even after getting approval through both agencies they will be actively involved during the life of the brewery.

After the these steps are complete then it will finally be legal to brew beer commercially.  Add a couple of months after this for to have beer ready for drinking then bring on the grand opening!  Looking at it all seems daunting and figuring out all of the specifics needed to make everyone happy is headache inducing but in the end it will be well worth it.

As far as when all this will get accomplished is hard to pin down.  Our immediate goals are to figure what we are going to need to do to the barn to get it up to code for brewing. We are going to reach out to local OLCC officials and the county planning office to see advice and information they might be able to provide.  Some other major obstacles we’ll have to overcome is the lack of water and sewer available to the barn and bringing the electrical up to code.  Ideally while we are working on improving the barn we’ll keep an eye for used brewing and restaurant equipment that we can pick up.

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One thought on “First steps

  1. Keep an eye out in Central Oregon for equipment as well. We’ve got a lot of brewery/brew pubs and they seem to grow enough to need new equipment. If I catch wind of any big upheavals, I’ll let you know.

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