Hosting a Brewery Event

Hosting a beer festival. Bringing in food vendors or entertainment for a special event. Commemorating beer holidays like National IPA Day or International Beer Day — or commemorating other holidays, like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

All of these can draw larger crowds to your craft brewery—and be a big marketing win. But all of these are also risk exposures that you may not be exposed to much of the rest of the year.

So how can your brewery plan and execute a brewery event and emerge unscathed?

Planning a Brewery Event

  • Cross those Ts and dot those Is. In other words, check with every agency who might have a say in your event: the ABC, your local community, your local law enforcement, and—of course—your insurance agent. Ensure that you have pulled every permit required and you are meeting every regulation.
  • Getting back to insurance: check with your agent that you have the proper insurance coverage to protect your brewery. Describe your event—the location, the capacity, the expected attendance, whether other organizations or vendors are involved—and find out how much insurance is recommended to protect your business.
  • Are you inviting outside food vendors to participate in your event? Be sure to:
  1. Obtain a certificate of insurance for the vendor’s general liability, business auto, and workers compensation coverage.
  2. Be added as an additional insured on the general liability and business auto policy.
  3. Obtain a waiver of subrogation for the vendor’s workers compensation coverage.

Avoiding a Liquor Liability Claim

Large crowds can make it challenging to protect against a liquor liability claim.

Your first step is to review liquor liability policies and procedures with your staff prior to the event. Remind them that they are the first line of defense against a liquor liability claim—and that a large crowd could make it challenging to follow all policies and procedures!

  • Emphasize the importance of checking patron IDs and preventing serving underage customers.
  • Share techniques to help workers identify, assist, and stop patrons who have had too much to drink. (You may even wish to offer staff a refresher training session, such as LEAD or TIPS.)
  • Share techniques to encourage patrons who may have overindulged to use taxis or other ride services rather than getting behind the wheel.
  • Review how the brewery documents incidents involving patrons who have had too much to drink.

Need more guidance or advice? Contact a neighboring brewery and ask for tips to make your event run smoothly. And be sure to download the Brewers Association’s guide to hosting beer festivals. Even if your event is far smaller than a festival, the tips and suggestions will be very helpful.

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.