Opening a craft brewery may seem like the new American dream, whether you’re an avid homebrewer, a craft beer aficionado, or an entrepreneur at heart. “The idea of working in a field that provides so much pleasure to so many—and seems like so much fun—tugs at the imagination,” says Richard Beall of Beall Brewery Insurance. “But before would-be craft brewery operators take the plunge, there are a lot of issues to consider–and craft brewery insurance is at the top of the list.”
Craft Brewery Insurance Issues
Craft brewery insurance covers many different types of risk in order to ensure the safety of the business. Here’s a rundown of the most important:
Commercial property and commercial general liability. Protecting the brewing equipment is vital to keeping the business running smoothly.
Protection for ingredients as well as finished product. Protect the investment of your time and money against spoilage or contamination.
Workers’ compensation. Brewery workers face many potential injuries—not only in brewing the finished product, but also in bottling, packaging, and transporting it.
Liquor liability. Protect your brewery from liability in the event that someone gets injured in an incident after drinking your beer.
The Cost of Craft Brewery Insurance
Craft brewery insurance prices can vary widely, according to the brewery’s size. A small craft brewery’s insurance policy may total about $1,000 a year in premiums, while large craft breweries’ insurance costs will likely be higher.
But don’t consider craft brewery insurance an expense, Beall suggests. Consider it an investment—in the future of your craft brewery, and in your peace of mind. As your brewery grows, review your insurance package to ensure that you have the coverage you need. Remember: an ounce of prevention is worth a barrel of great craft beer.
The Business of Brewing
According to the Brewers Association, there are nearly 2800 craft breweries across the United States; in 2012, new breweries opened at a rate of more than one a day. These new breweries face many challenges, from the struggle for shelf space to the many intricacies of successfully running a business. If you’re considering opening a craft brewery, or have recently taken steps to make your craft brewery dream a reality, do yourself a favor and focus on some of those nuts-and-bolts business issues like craft brewery insurance. Take care of your business—and your business will take care of you.