Do you crave a pint of cold, craft beer on a hot Indiana summer eve? In fact, is your passion for beer so strong, that you want to be the one producing it?
If you’re dreaming of joining the ranks of more than 100 breweries in Indiana, we have a few useful tips on how to get your Indiana brewery license and brewers bond. These are the necessary legal prerequisites that will allow you to open your micro- or nano-brewery in Indiana, and start delighting your state with your special brew.
While the process is not complicated, it’s a good idea to know what’s required of you, so that you operate in full compliance with state and federal law. Then you can start selling in bars, backyards and even food trucks. Sky's the limit
Let’s get started with the licensing overview. We’ll walk you step-by-step through the bonding process.
Your Indiana beer license
The licensing process starts with the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, which is the regulating authority for alcohol producers and retailers in the state.
First you have to decide what type of licenses you will need. If you’re just starting your independent brewing business, the best option is the brewer or small brewer license. In case you would like to expand and make direct sales in shops, bars or at your own premises, you’ll also need to get a retailer or wholesale license.
You’ll have to check whether the license you need is currently available in your area, as there are license quotas depending on the population in the area. In case it isn’t, you can always contact other brewers that might be interested in selling their licenses.
Brewery license applications
To submit your permit application, you’ll have to prepare four copies of the floor plans of your brewery, your business papers, a proof of ownership or lease of the brewery’s location, and a brewer’s bond. The permit for beer will cost you $500
If you’re buying a license from a current brewer, you’ll have to fill in a few transfer documents that are also available online. The transfer fee is $250.
After you’ve submitted your application and paid the fees, your proposal will be reviewed by the local alcoholic beverage board. They will judge your suitability, and issue recommendations as to whether you can be given a permit. If you’re approved at this stage, you will get a visit from the State Excise Police for a final check of your brewing location. It usually takes between 10-12 weeks to get through the licensing process.
Besides the state licensing, you will have to pass the scrutiny on the federal level: the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). This includes filing - and getting approval - on your Brewer’s Notice, submitting environmental impact information, and getting approval on your labels and packaging.
You will also have to get a Brewer’s Bond (TTB F 5130.22) or Brewer’s Collateral Bond (TTB F 5130.25). The bond amount is $1,000 for brewers whose excise tax liability is expected to be less than $50,000 for the year, and has been less than that in the previous year as well.
[And make sure you have the proper zoning in place. Sometimes that’s the hardest part. – ed.]
What’s the brewers bond all about
When you’re applying for a brewer’s permit, you’ll have to obtain a $10,000 alcohol bond to meet the state requirements, and, in most cases, a $1,000 bond to meet the federal ones. But what exactly is the brewer’s bond?
It’s a kind of surety bond, and as such, it guarantees your compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. In the case of the brewer’s bond, it functions as a security that you will pay all taxes you owe.
In practical terms, the bond is a contract between you as the principal, the authority requiring the bond as the obligee, and the surety providing the bond. Because of the financial risk involved in bonding, sureties examine the overall status of businesses before they get them bonded.
Another way to think about it is that a bond is an additional line of credit for your brewery. If you fail to follow the law, a claim can be made on your bond. The surety that underwrote it will cover all costs up to the amount of the bond. Afterwards you’ll have to reimburse the surety in full, so it’s a good idea to avoid such situations.
As already mentioned, the required brewer’s bond in Indiana is $10,000. The good news is that you need to pay only a percentage of this amount. If you qualify for the standard bonding market, this means a premium of about 1%-4%, or between $100 and $400. The bond required by the federal TTB is $1,000, which can be obtained for premium between $100 and $250 per year.
But even if you have less-than-perfect credit, don’t despair. There are options to get bonded with bad credit, so that you can still pursue your brewery dream. You might end up paying slightly higher bonding premiums, but it’s worth it when it gives you the chance to start producing your own beer.
Vic Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates. He is a surety bond expert who helps small businesses get licensed and bonded. Vic graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Saturday, May 30: Fest of Ale by Keg Liquors, Clarksville, IN What is unique about this festival is that includes multiple beers from Belgium, including Trappist beers and ranges from local to national to global samples. This is the TENTH Anniversary and some very special beers (Founders KBS, Chimay, etc.) will be poured, some by schedule. This event is at a church (behave) and raises thousands for the local charity that funds hospital stays for kids! n) INFO CLICK HERE
while this is not a complete list, here are some highlights!
May 30: American On Tap, Indianapolis, 50 craft breweries, 100+ beers, at Military ParkCLICK HERE FOR INFO
May 30: Indy Eleven (soccer) Craft Brew Spring Festival, 11 breweries pre-game TIX & INFO HERE
June 6: Anderson, IN, Brewfest Focus on Indiana - a chance to try beers from Trubble (Ft. Wayne), Wooden Bear (Greenfield), New Corner (Muncie), and more including Flat 12, Taxman, Triton, Bier CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
June 6: Indy Metro Airport (NorthEast) CAF Warbird Hops-n-Props Festival, historic aircraft, 6 major local breweries CLICK HERE FOR INFO
June 13: Viking Fest, Noble Order Brewing -- details on Facebook
July 18: Indiana Microbrews Festival - The BIG Grand-daddy of Indiana Beer Fests!, Military Park (new venue), Indianapolis, CLICK HERE FOR INFO
July 25: GNAWBrew, Gnaw Bone, near Nashville, IN, Great time and you can CAMP!! CLICK HERE FOR INFO
August 1: Brew Haven, New Haven, IN, CLICK HERE FOR INFO
August 8: Pints in the Park, Highland, IN, CLICK HERE FOR INFO
This last Friday, May 29, Clips of Faith New Belgium Beer/Film festival was delightful. The fest featured many 'hard to find' New Belgium beers plus the "only available here - 1 keg only" Film Noir, a caramel, chocolate, vanilla, Imperial milk stout! That was delicious, as was the Cocoa Mole spiced stout with chiles.
Onward to the Next Fest!
Cedar Creek Winery and Brew Co is OPEN near Martinsville. Amber, Blonde, IPA, and Porter. Gotta love the names.
Rita tells us about the new Redemption Alewerks in Fishers. And the St. Joseph Brewery and Public House in downtown Indy. And more beers. And the Midwest Sour+Funk Fest. And this year’s growth of Wabash Brewing.
New Albanian’s Roger Baylor’s
web facebook site is up and live and growing. It’s titled “Roger Baylor for Mayor of New Albany”. Yeah gotta love his “Shift Happens” motto. We wonder which will be the official picture.
Australian GrainCorp has a U.S. malting plant and they hope to double the output. article
USA Today looks at Gose. Don’t know about Gose? This is a must read if you’re going to Leipzig or even Meissen or Dresden. article
A shipwreck near Finland contained some champagne from the 1830s in green corked bottles 55 feet down. “It was phenomenal. And we tasted it without any knowledge of what we were drinking.” They also found two bottles of beer. “Burnt rubber, over-ripe cheese, and goat.” Now they’re trying to reproduce it. The beer of course. article
Here’s a map of taxes (per gallon) on beer in each state. Indiana comes in #41 at 12 cents.
Fan Uses 1 Hand to Catch Bat Thrown into Stands, Doesn't Spill His Beer video
Most Americans have never tried the most popular beer in the world. Snow brand. A lager with a “poor” rating on Beer Advocate. Probably better than Tsingtao though. Yep, Chinese.
110-Year-Old Man Credits Long Life To His Daily Can Of Beer. It’s either that or the Nebraska weather?
Soft drinks and non-alcoholic beer: are the battle lines being drawn? Nope, I’d rather have iced tea than an O’Doul’s.
And of course the most popular topic of the month: Researchers develop yeast that converts sugar into morphine. It’s already a target for regulation. article
Look for Running Vines Winery in Chesterton. article
Bowling Green, KY is looking square in the face of the White Squirrel Brewery and Taproom, Bliss Ave. Brewing Co. and the Blue Holler homebrew supplies store. article
Craft beer business booming in Wisconsin. They say it’s 11% of all beer sales ($19.6 billion) in the U.S. (and includes, of course, Sam Adams).
England: Forget steak and ale pie - try beer and honey cake. With recipe.
Elsewhere. The U.S. Virgin Islands claims a "local" Virgin Islands Brewing Co. that distributes Blackbeard Ale (a passable Amber) and Foxy Lager, both made in Minnesota.
Elsewhile. In Puerto Rico===>>>
Some beers and stuff of Portugal, Gibraltar, and Malaga:
Ginja in Lisbon. This is a very sweet red cherry liquor that is not at all sticky and has none of the flavor of artificial candy found so often in cheap Kirschwasser.
Portugese beers: Sagres - Bold yellow. Medium carbonation. Strong, balanced generic lager presence. Obviously a mass-market beer. Gassier than American brands and more filling. Doesn't seem suited to hot summers.
Super Bock - "Sabor autentico". Also a rich lager though with some off flavors. Draft at a corner cafe. Maybe stale.
Gibraltar doesn’t have any real ale. But the city center has at least 2 dozen real British pubs such as the Ye Olde Rock (below). Good liver and bacon at that one. There is Tetleys, Double Diamond, Guinness, Green King IPA, Draught Bass, Caffertys Smooth, John Smith's Smooth, Stella, and Bud - all on tap. Also bottled GK Abbott and canned Scrumpy Jack. All (imperial) pints were about £1.40 (cheaper than in Britain by about 50 pence).
Malaga has a couple of Spanish lagers. Alhambra is brewed in Granada, just 100miles away. It's OK at best.
Cruzcampo. Now there's a good authentic pilsner. Brewed by Heineken in Seville. Odd to see an ingredients list including water, malt, cereals, antioxidant, and stabilizer (preservative).
And then there’s the oldest bar in Malaga. The Antigua Casa De Guardia is on the main street just a few blocks from the harbor. Inside there's a few bottles on the wall but the main sight is 21 casks of wine that form the bar back. Typically 16 have spiles and are "on tap".
The typical drink is a 3oz glass of one of the fortified wines straight from the cask. Prices go from €0.85 to 1.00. When get your drink the bartender writes your tab in chalk on the bar to keep a running tab. When you pay he wipes off the chalk with the heel of his hand.
We talked for a couple hours with a local who spoke no English and a couple of Brits who happened in. Tasted 6 different wines and had a wonderful afternoon.
About the wines. All are about 17% so are “a bit fortified”. All were quite sweet and sticky. The Sec and the Moscatel were most to our liking but everything was very similar to our uneducated palates. Names: Pajarete, Seco Trasanejo, Lagrima Trasanejo, Malaga Quina, Lagrima Anejo, Moscatel #1, Moscatel #2, Pedro Ximen, and more that we can't remember.
It was late afternoon and the place was mostly empty but the remains of a busy lunch crowd were still on the floor - prawn shells and cigarette butts tossed haphazardly in buckets under the bar. Make a note to get a franchise for this operation - preferably on Bourbon Street.
Congratulations to Chris Hoover for 47 ft. Blonde Ale which won at the UpCup Homebrew judging.
Speaking of homebrew recipes brewed in large scale, Broad Ripple Brewpub is serving a Vienna Lager, The Lost Stone, that won Best of Show at last summer’s State Fair Brewer’s Cup. Congratulations again to Evan Brill of Louisville.
Beer Buzz is online only now. Read Rita Kohn’s news at http://www.nuvo.net/indianapolis/beer-wine/Category?oid=1249107 and add it to your news reader. This week there’s a special about the Ram. And see anthropologist Jamie Gordon’s in-depth about Rita.
Newest Hoosier beers coming to the shelves:
Triton Brewing: Wit or Witout You
Mad Anthony Brewing: Summer Daze Wheat
Bloomington Brewing: Back Country Session IPA (which will support the Indiana Forest Alliance).
Evil Czech Brewery: Periodic Session IPA
Bare Hands Brewery: will can and will be available in June.
Ohio has a bill in the legislature that will raise beer’s allowable ABV from 12% to 21%. Heck. I remember 3.2% back in the 1960s.
SABMiller acquires craft beer firm. Meantime of Greenwich, a brand available here.
Pay to Play Investigation of Craft Beer Industry Comes to a Head. Massachusetts.
Four drunk goats taken to hospital after falling unconscious from drinking illicit liquor. Revenuers in India dumped out 11,500 bottles and the goats found the puddles.
William Shakespeare’s Father: Official Ale-Taster of Stratford-upon-Avon. That job was called a conner. Don’t ask why because we don’t know.
York beer challenge: Do you find fined fine or is unfined finer? A beer festival in York will see seven breweries with have both versions.
Fizzics promises to pour a perfect draft-beer head, straight from the bottle. $149. Not available yet – in crowdfunding status.
Japan would have a machine that pours the perfect beer (short Video). It’s a vending machine.
Beer Cocktail Bans and Other Stupid Booze Laws. Yep, bombers are illegal in Virginia. As was sangria.
Beer Glass Shape Alters How Fast We Drink Alcohol: Are You Drinking Too Much? At Medical Daily. If you’re shaped like a dimple mug . . .
Huh, a Bone Luge to pour drinks into your mouth through a hopefully cleaned marrow holder. Hot in New Orleans.
Here’s a similarly bad idea for a brewfest: a mechanical bull. Oh, maybe not. The keg toss will do just as well.
Here are just a few beers you might grab to celebrate:
Triton Brewery of Indianapolis will have special events daily: a tap takeover at HopCat (6280 N College) 6:30 PM with beer dinner on Monday, 5/11,TIX HERE $30, tap take-over at Brixx Wood Fire Pizza (8594 E 116 St. Fishers) on Tuesday, May 12, to include a pin of Grapefruit/Blood Orange Railsplitter IPA, Wednesday Wit or Wit-out You + Beer Hammock Shandy Tappings at the brewery (5764 Wheeler Rd), Thursday 5/14 Barn Phantom Sour Tapping at the brewery, Friday, 5/14, Railsplitter Five Alive tapping- IPA with orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit notes at the Brewery and at Champps on Maryland in downtown Indy.
Triton celebrates with a Two Year Anniversary in Broad Ripple party on Saturday, May 16, starting at Noon at 915 Broad Ripple Avenue.
You might grab a 4-pack of Sun King Afternoon Delight, a bourbon barrel aged Maibock available now. We remember this beer as having nice vanilla flavor from the barrel on top of the sweetness of this light-colored strong beer
You could stop by any Upland Location for Infinite Wisdom Triple, a complex warming, slightly sweet beer with mild fruitiness that was just tapped May 8. (Also available in cans.)
A fast seller around Indiana is Tin Man Damascene apricot sour. We found this is flying off shelves of local liquor stores. This is a refreshing beer that is not puckering sour, yet delivers both the sweetness and tartness of apricot.
Stop by Flat12 on Dorman in Indianapolis on Wednesday, May 13 where the purchase of any pint gives $1 to the Indianapolis Parks Foundation.
Mad Anthony Brewery in Ft Wayne releases their Summer Daze American wheat with a release party on 5/13, 5-8PM.
Bloomington Brewing Company has its first release in 16 oz. cans on May 14. BBC Back Country Session IPA with 8 hops but only mid-range hop bitterness at 46 ibu and only 4.7% alcohol should be a beer with melon, citrus, and spice AND every purchase helps support the Indiana Forest Alliance.
You might also want to stop by one of Indiana's newer and smaller breweries or brew pubs like Wabash Brewing at 5328 W. 79th Street, Indianapolis, where two scientists (literally) are brewing up great beer wabashbrewing.com ; or Function Brewing in Bloomington just 1/2 block from the square on 6th open just over a year now and always a fresh new batch to try www.functiongbrewing.com; or Red Yeti Brewing in Jeffersonville, IN, just blocks from the Ohio River www.redyetibrewing.com
May 29, New Belgium Brewing's Clips of Faith Beer & Film Tour makes its second stop of the season in Bloomington. The brewery's Joanna Laubscher tells us Bloomington is one of the best attended venues for the annual short-film and specialty beer festival. This year a special beer that tastes almost like the Milk Duds candy was brewed and only one keg of this dark, chocolate stout will be available at each stop. In addition, there will be nearly 16 other beers on tap including Coco Mole and the sour Transatlantique Kriek. The Clips of Faith festival starts at 7:30 pm with short films at dusk until 10PM at Bryan Park on Bloomington's south side.
On May 30 come to Clarksville, IN, to help raise money for children's hospitals at the 10th annual Fest of Ale, 320 N Sherwood Ave, Clarksville. Todd Antz, of sponsor Keg Liquors told us, "I had no idea what we'd be able to accomplish while having so much fun" as last year over $13,000 was raised to contribute to the WHAS Louisville-TV Crusade of Children campaign, which funds projects at Southern Indiana hospitals as well as those in Louisville. Over 250 breweries will have beer in the fields behind St. Anthony's Church, including Tin Man and Carson's of Evansville, and Flat12 which has their newer location in Jeffersonville. Fest runs 3-7PM with tickets available at www.kegliquors.com
The production limits for Indiana breweries have been raised from 30,000 to 90,000 barrels. Horray! This will let Sun King, Three Floyds and Upland keep their tasting rooms and self-distribution for a couple of years before it will need to be raised again. The SupportIndianaBrewers.com petition got over 3,000 names which helped.
The Indy Star has a Sneak peek: 5 things to know about 12.05 Distillery – located in Fletcher Place neighborhood.
NWI Times: Brewmasters and Winemakers Tell All: How Did I Get Into This Business? Spotlighting Butler Winery, Crown Brewing, Round Barn Winery, 18th Street Brewery, New Oberpalz Brewing, Tabor Hill Winery and 3 Floyds. Who’s the most photogenic? Not Steve Mazylewski. They chose a better picture that’s suitable as wallpaper.
The Sunday Sales is dead for the year. So is it in Minnesota: Opponents of Sunday booze ban fail again in House, but margin shrinking
Gosehn soap maker uses beer in the bars. Eric Strader’s article
Headlines: Oh really?
Actor Wil Wheaton to unveil beer at Ottawa ComicCon - Brewed the "HefeWheaton" with the help of Ottawa's Clocktower Brew Pub - "I'm a fairly experienced homebrewer,"
FRANCHISOR 101: Time for a Tall One? 3rd Circuit Affirms MillerCoors' Victory in Dispute – “Distributor frosted” – MC sent Batch 19, Third Shif and Redd’s Apple Ale to a different distributor than the one who handles Coors & Miller in PA
More beer means more jobs at Bell's Brewery – This one must have been easy to write.
Bud Light Apologizes For Its Date Rape Label - “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”
Brewery gets community to grow hops for craft beer – Folks in Sacrament are asked to sell Helvetia Brewery hops. Will supply rhizomes and a ball of twine.
Opinion: Craft beer’s biggest enemy is itself, not Budweiser and Miller – “Smaller breweries ought to focus on fights they can win instead of battling against the big guys”
BYOB: It's Brew Your Own Beer at Some Colleges – Classes with kettles in CA.
And from England:
Sun King turns SIX. Each year Sun King releases ever-popular Grapefruit Jungle on their anniversary. This year the date is June 27, with both local and headliner music -- DJ Helicon, Brandon Whyde & the Devil's Keep, with Little Hurricane.