Barrel-Aging and Your Craft Brewery: Managing the Risk Exposure

There are many good reasons for a craft brewery to consider launching a barrel-aging program. While barrel-aged beers may provide great business opportunities for a brewery, Beall Brewery Insurance points out that they may also provide additional risk exposure.

Give Your Barrel-Aging Program a Good Start

Before you begin a barrel-aging program, consider the following questions.

  • Where do your barrels come from? Are they from a trustworthy source? How quickly will you be able to obtain the barrels after the spirits are emptied from them? How will you transport them to the brewery?
  • What sorts of spirits did the barrels hold? Do you need to rinse them before pouring beer inside?
  • What is your plan for storing barrels when they are full? When they are empty?
  • How often do you plan to use the barrels? How will you get rid of unwanted barrels after your brewery can no longer use them?
  • What will happen if a barrel containing mold or some other contaminant spoils a batch of beer? Do you have the spoilage and contamination coverage necessary to help you recoup the costs of your ingredients and the loss of the profits you would have made?
  • If an incident (a brewery fire, for instance) damages or destroys your barrels, will your brewery insurance package protect you? Will it protect the racking system?
  • Barrel-aged beers can have a very high ABV. Is your liquor liability coverage sufficient?

A barrel-aging program could give your brewery a powerful boost. The increased expense of the barrels and racking, and the potential increase in profits, can impact your brewery insurance needs. Make sure you consult with your brewery insurance agent to ensure that your brewery has the coverage it needs.

For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has helped corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.