Flood Prevention for the Craft Brewery

While flood can—and does—happen in any region of the United States, this winter the risk is particularly great, not only due to the snowfall and thaw that many areas of the country experience, but also due to the El Niño weather pattern that promises to dump heavy rainfall on California. Beall Brewery Insurance would like to remind craft breweries that flood prevention and preparation tactics have never been more important, and that the time to implement them is now.

Recent winters have brought large snowfalls and long cold spells to many areas of the United States, and the resulting thaw can pose a threat to many businesses. In California, which is home to a greater number of craft breweries than any other state, the flood risk this year is amplified by the El Nino weather pattern, which expected to bring higher than normal rainfall across the entire state in the winter of 2018-19.

But regardless of unusual weather patterns, flood remains the number one natural disaster in the United States. From 2010-2014, the average flood insurance claim was $42,000. And the typical business insurance package does not include coverage for damage due to flood.

How can you protect your brewery from flood? Here are some steps you can take now.

Flood Prevention and Preparation

  • Stock up on supplies, including fuel and fresh water.
  • Have a pump on stand-by in case water infiltrates areas of your brewery.
  • Test your backup equipment to ensure that it is working properly. Make sure to take care of any necessary tune-ups or repairs.
  • Prepare sandbags. Fill them halfway with sand (or soil) and place them close to where you’ll need them once rain or thaw starts. Click here for pointers on effective sandbag use.
  • Modify your storage patterns. Store things up at a higher level if you’re able to, to prevent it from getting soaked with flood water.
  • Consider adding a flood rider to your craft brewery insurance. Remember, it takes 30 days for flood insurance to go into effect. The time to get a policy is now, before you need it.

Extreme weather often strikes without much warning, and the damage can be devastating. Consider the case of The Alchemist, a Waterbury, Vt., pub and brewery destroyed by flood resulting from Hurricane Irene. The owners had planned to rebuild and reopen—until they discovered that their insurance would not cover the cost of damages to the basement of their building, which was the location of the brewery.

In 2014, Lagunitas Brewing Company had to close its taproom and cancel tours due to unexpected flooding of their Petaluma, Calif., facility—to the tune of one to two feet of water in the taproom.

If you have questions about flood insurance for your craft brewery, contact us. We’re here to help!

For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping 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.