This Issue of Beverage Master Magazine

Get Noticed: A Journey in Packaging

There’s a key phrase in retailing: “eye level is buy level.” The adage is easy to comprehend: whatever lies in your field of vision makes for an easier purchase. The next time you visit a grocery store, notice how shelving is approximately 6-ft. high. Then scan the second-to-highest shelf. No matter the product, there are numerous reasons why it’s placed there, not above or below. For the craft beverage industry, this axiom definitely applies. Every producer wants placement on the second-to-highest shelf—the 4-ft.–to-5–ft. mark—because it’s at eye level for most people. But what if you were one of the 3,500 new wine products released in 2016-2017? Or one of the 1,800 latest craft beers? Or some of the more specialty […]

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Turning Your Brewing Passion into a Business A Guide to Starting a Brewery

So you have the desire, the passion, the funding and a comprehensive business plan to start a brewery. Now what? There are many aspects of starting and running a business that must be considered, such as manufacturing, accounting, marketing, personnel management and facilities, to name a few. At times it can be a bit overwhelming, for a good reason. “Everyone wants to start a brewery, right?” said Vic Falck of Calusa Brewing in Sarasota, Florida. “We were drawn to the industry for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost we love beer, are dedicated to making the best we can and wanted to share that with the world. It’s an exceptional and supportive community filled with passionate people doing what […]

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St. Elmo Brewing Company: A New Mecca for Craft Beer in Austin

Craft beer fans — and there are millions today — have their favorite haunts for a variety of reasons. Some visit a brewery for the specialty beers. Others may be part of a beer-loving group that meets at a particular pub. Still, others might go for the food or the entertainment. In this Golden Age of craft beer, some lucky patrons may stumble across a brewery that offers all of the above, a total experience that celebrates the passion, authenticity, creativity and camaraderie of American craft beer. St. Elmo Brewing Company in Austin, Texas is one of these breweries. St. Elmo is a 15-barrel brewhouse founded in 2016 by Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock. It has it all: a small […]

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Safety Key Ingredient in Brewer, Distiller Success

The morass of regulations governing the craft beverage industry is complex and embraces distribution, taxes, labeling and packaging. And, there are plenty of rules regarding worker safety. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, breweries, in particular, can be dangerous places, “inherently fraught with multitudes of hazards.” Brewers work with boiling liquids, pressurized tanks, caustic chemicals, fast-moving machinery, wet floors and, in some cases, have forklifts weaving in and out of the production floor. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has laid out numerous rules for safety in confined spaces, labor-intensive activities, chemical usage/storage, machinery maintenance procedures, protective clothing, machinery operations and other aspects of daily life in a facility. Monitoring all of those responsibilities is part of daily […]

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Hop Growers Face Challenges to Meet Rising Brewery Demands

The New York craft beer industry is really hopping. From 2012 to 2016, the number of breweries more than tripled, from 95 to 302, according to the New York State Brewers Association, and the industry contributes $3.5 billion to the state’s economy annually. Lawmakers seeking to tap into the industry’s economic potential have passed new policies that provide incentives for New York hop growers to jump on the bandwagon and supply the growing demand for local ingredients. As these growers have learned, cultivating hops has its challenges, mainly from pests and two pervasive diseases, and Cornell researchers are lending a hand. Plant disease experts David Gadoury and doctoral student Bill Weldon, both at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station […]

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Good News for the Industry! From California to New York City

Consumer goods, particularly goods containing alcohol or tobacco, are an easy target for new regulations introduced by elected officials. They argue that new regulations are required to protect the consumer from excessive prices or to promote health or safety. Occasionally, though the apparent benefit for the consumer might seem obvious at least to the consumer, the real benefit, once the smoke and mirrors are pushed aside, is negligible. In all cases, compliance with a new regulation affecting a business segment requires some effort by a manager or owner of an affected company. Figuratively, the compliance burden may be just a tiny ripple in a barrel, or the burden might cause the barrel to tip and spill precious profits on the […]

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Crafting a Safe Work Environment for Breweries: 5 Tips to Avoid Workers’ Comp Claims

We have the hard-working employees of these breweries to thank for our industry’s growth, so their safety must be paramount. Every staff member, whether from the production, warehouse, brewing or kitchen departments, is an integral part of the brewery operation and as with many other factory or manufacturing jobs, every one of these individuals is exposed to potential dangers on the job. Breweries tend to have a slightly higher injury rate than most industries. The boiling water inherent to the process can result in burns, and pressurization problems can cause tank explosions, just to name two examples. Despite these dangers, we are pleased to see that reports of work-related injuries and illnesses in breweries have been on a steady decline. […]

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How will tax reform impact craft brewers?

The comprehensive tax reform legislation passed by Congress this past December is poised to significantly impact the craft brewing industry in a number of ways. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) affords craft breweries a wealth of opportunities to positively impact their bottom line, so it’s critical for brewers to develop an understanding of the new tax rules and how they can be applied effectively. With that in mind, let’s analyze some of the rules and explain how breweries can benefit from these new measures. Cash Basis Method of Accounting and Accounting for Inventories Many craft breweries utilize the cash basis method of accounting for tax purposes. Under the previous rules, companies were generally allowed to use this method […]

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Slàinte mhath! Canadian Whisky Distilleries to Check Out for Burns Night

Many of us rang in 2018 with the clinking of glasses and a verse or two of Auld Lang Syne. The familiar tune is one of the best-known works of Scottish poet Robert Burns, who in 2009 narrowly beat out William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public. Every year on or around January 25, Robbie Burns Night is celebrated by many Scots to commemorate his life, poetry and the anniversary of his birth in 1759. With nearly 15% of Canadians – that’s more than 5 million – claiming Scottish descent, it’s no surprise that on Burns Night there are many wee drams of whisky poured. At Burns Night festivities, whether a small gathering of friends or […]

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Crowdfunding Your Craft Beverage Business

For many craft beverage producers, their journey began by making beer and spirits in their home kitchens or garages before taking the leap and opening a commercial location. For these former homebrewers, they quickly realize that becoming established as a new brewery or distillery is a considerable challenge regarding financing, legal compliance, and attracting thirsty consumers to an emerging business. Crowdfunding has become a popular tool for raising the capital needed to open the doors and keep them open for the long-term. Since there are many crowdfunding options available to craft beverage companies today, producers considering this method should be aware of the pros and cons of using this approach. Craft Beverage Business Start-Up Costs Consultants with Thoroughbred Spirits Group […]

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