The Journey to Brewery Ownership

Opening a brewery is no small undertaking, but the Florida Brewers Guild is here to help you navigate through the process.  Here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right path. Be sure to review the TTB brewery qualification guidelines and list of frequently asked questions before getting started. You may also contact us with specific questions and we will do our best to assist. Cheers!

Step One: Choose the License That Suits Your Needs

A) CMBP licenses are issued to vendors licensed to sell alcohol and who want to add a brewery to their premises. This license has a $500 annual fee and is only for beer brewed and consumed on the same premises; you may not distribute it or sell it off-site. The CMBP license is limited to 5,000 bbls or 10,000 kegs per year. Please see Florida Statute 561.221(3) for more information.

B) CMB licenses are full manufacturers’ licenses and have a $3000 annual fee, but there is no limit to production amounts. This license will allow you to distribute your brew to licensed vendors through licensed wholesalers. If you’ll be promoting tourism and can get local zoning approval, you may be issued a vendor’s license for sale directly to customers on your premises. Please see Florida Statute 561.221(2) for more information.

Once you’ve decided which license you’d like to obtain, you’ll need to take the following steps to begin the process of opening your brewery.

Step Two: Zoning

Check with your local land use department to ensure that the property you want to open your brewery on allows you to do so. If you intend to sell your beer directly to customers on site, your property needs to be wet-zoned. You must be sure local government allows for the sale and/or consumption of alcohol on your property. Depending on the scale of your production, your property may need to be classified as Commercial Light or Commercial Intensive.

Step Three: Apply for a Federal Brewer’s Permit

Please use the following links for more information about this process:

Step Four: Apply for a Florida Brewer’s Permit and Manufacturer’s License

Please use the following links for more information about this process:

Step Five: Become a Member of the Florida Brewers Guild

The guild encourages all sectors of the industry to come together under the common principles of advocacy, education and good old fashioned brewing. Membership is valid for 12 months and is opening to licensed breweries and breweries in-planning. Show your support today!

Another great resource to consider is the Brewers Association. The BA is an organization of brewers, by brewers, for brewers to promote and protect American craft brewers, their beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.

Happy Brewing!