The Brewlog: Regulator Brewing Company Blog

News, etc. from Regulator Brewing Company. Updated sporadically.

Posts marked ‘Starting a Brewery’

Regulator is Legal!

Regulator is North Carolina’s newest brewery!  Yahoo!

So, we’re gonna crank up the system this weekend for a double brew day.  Is there a better way to celebrate Labor Day and our final permit approval?

*crickets*

Nope, we didn’t think so.

If you wanna know more about what we’ll be brewing, scroll down for details on beer names and the label design.

And we’re pretty sure that your now-burning questions include when and where to get Regulator beer. We hear you!  Details are coming on our beer releases, which we’ll share via our email list and on our events page.  If you want updates delivered to your inbox, sign up for the email list.  You can also catch us on Facebook and Twitter.

Cheers!

The folks behind Regulator Brewing, L to R: Stephanie, Dustin, Ryan, and Anna.
Stephanie, Dustin, Ryan and Anna

 

Putting a Label on It

Aaaaaaaigh, our first labels!  After settling on some names to get excited about, it was back to the drawing board for label designs.  We could work on these forever–well, I could–but what are business partners for if not to sit you down and say, “We like these. Let’s use them, for your sake. Also, take a shower.”

 

IMG_20150822_153713

The “process”

 

So revision 4,821* is our winner. How did we get there? Inspecting the refrigerator case at Weaver Street, poring over excellent sample packs from local labelries,** having weird pitchfork-heavy dreams, and ultimately, going simple:

 

Capsheaf
Tavern Alley
Six of Twelve

 

[Insert “Will they stick?” joke here.] We’re still navigating the federal and state label approval processes, but we’re fairly certain that what you see here will resemble something you’ll soon be able to find in a store. Keep an eye on our progress on the front page, and stay tuned!

*Number is approximate

**If this isn’t a word, it should be

Starting a Brewery? Tips for the TTB Application

beer banner

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade (TTB) application is one of the most daunting challenges to opening a brewery.  It’s exceedingly thorough and comes before any of the other state or local applications.  The approval process often takes more than 4 months.

Thanks in large part to the help of other brewers who were willing to share their experience, we were lucky to have our application approved in 22 days. In the spirit of those who shared with us, we’d like to offer a few tips to help other new brewers navigate this challenging process.

Kickstarter
One of the most tedious parts of the TTB application is the “Sources of Funds” documentation, where you must account for every cent of startup capital. If anyone who has contributed money is not an owner, the TTB requires a letter from that person stating that they have no ownership interest in the company.

This really freaked us out–we were dreading the logistical nightmare of getting individual letters from our 150+ Kickstarter backers.* We wrote Kickstarter and asked if they could provide us one letter explicitly stating that no ownership transfer was tied to the deposit we received from Kickstarter.** Kickstarter did, and the TTB accepted their letter.

Open a bank account ASAP
If your brewery does not have an established bank account with 6 months of records, each owner will have to supply, at a minimum, 5 months of personal financial records. Being able to simply send brewery financial statements streamlined the process and made it a lot less personally intrusive.

Answer every question
There will be some questions seemingly intended for big breweries (power generation,  waste water, etc.).  Answer them anyway. For the power generation question we put something simple, along the lines of: “All power will be purchased from our local power utility and delivered through the existing power grid.”

Err on the side of too much detail
With the TTB, “more” seems to be “more.” We described the building in extensive detail, including every aspect of the brewery’s construction, down to drywall thickness. Make sure your floor plan shows where every single part of the brewery will be located–including windows, sinks, and floor drains.

 

Finally, be prepared for everything to go well! We have no idea how the process will go for you, but make a contingency plan in case the process goes faster than expected. We tied our project schedule to a longer approval process; as it turned out, we could have significantly shortened our timeline.

________________________________

*Can we say thank you, again?  Yes. Thank you, again.

**Kickstarter actually has a policy that states “project creators keep 100% ownership of their work, and Kickstarter cannot be used to offer equity, financial returns, or to solicit loans.”  We quoted this back to them when we asked for a letter!

 

We’re still here!

We know, we know–it’s been awhile since we posted an update. Despite our silence here on the Brewlog, Regulator Brewing has been busy!

You may have seen that we got our federal permit back in April:

Getting our Brewer’s Notice was our first official hurdle as a brewery, and we were pretty excited–some of us more photogenically than others–because it happened much sooner than we expected.

So what are we up to now? County inspections, state permit applications, and label approvals, to name a few. We’re also securing supply vendors, cranking out test batches, and tweaking the brewhouse as we figure out better ways to organize the new equipment.

The takeaway: we’re making a ton of progress, one form/set of fingerprints (!)/label draft at a time.  We promise to keep you posted on what happens next (really!)

Proud Member


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Hillsborough, North Carolina
regulatorbrewing@gmail.com
(919) 589-BREW