Before I say anything else, I want to thank them for that. It was truly a nice gesture, and one I find to be the norm in the brewing industry (as limited as my personal experience has been).
I also had a nice twitter conversation last night with Ben (@benheartsbeer) from Fat Bottom Brewery in Nashville, TN. He's farther along in the process than I am, and has some awesome looking beers on his site. Hopefully I will have time to make it out there at some point to take advantage of his kind offer to walk me through the process. Please take a moment to go look at his site!
That said, if you're interested in what it takes to get licensed by the government to brew beer, here is some info (copied wholesale from the email I received) to take a look at.
In order to produce beer, you first need to obtain a federal brewer's notice. You don't need to obtain a federal wholesaler basic permit if you only sell the beer your produce. If you sell beer you did not produce, then you would need to get a federal wholesaler basic permit. Let me give you our general reply on obtaining a federal brewer's notice: Before you can begin brewery operations, you will have to first complete the necessary forms including a brewer's notice and bond. There will be a link at the end of this email to access the forms/information in order to apply for a Federal brewer's notice. There is no cost for the brewer's notice, and we try to process applications within 95 days of the date we receive them. Here is what part 25 - Beer of Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 25.21 states about the location of a brewery: Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms § 25.21 Restrictions on location. A brewery may not be established or operated in any dwelling house (home) or on board any vessel or boat, or in any building or on any premises where the revenue will be jeopardized or the effective administration of this part will be hindered. All alcoholic beverages must also conform to the labeling regulations of the United States. If you have labeling questions, please contact our Advertising, Labeling & Formulation Division at 1-866-927-2533 or by e-mail at: email@example.com. Their web site is: http://www.ttb.gov/labeling/index.shtml. For information on filing your labels online, click on "Labeling" on the left side of our homepage. The regulations governing the labeling and distribution of alcoholic beverages can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms, Title 27 on our web site at: http://www.ttb.gov/. When you pull up our homepage, click on " Regulations" under "Regulatory and Formal Guidance." Part 25 discusses beer and Part 7 discusses labeling and advertising of malt beverages. Anyone who manufactures malt beverages must file TTB Form 5630.5(d), Alcohol Dealer Registration, before commencing operations. The payment associated with Special Occupational Tax has been repealed for manufacturers, importers/wholesalers and retailers of beverage alcoholic products, but recordkeeping and registration requirements remain. Completed brewer's notice and all required documents should be sent to: National Revenue Center Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau 550 Main St., Ste. 8002 Cincinnati, OH 45202-5215 You should also contact each State for information relative to its licensing requirements. To find out more about individual state laws, on our web site at: www.ttb.gov click on "Distilled Spirits" at the top of our homepage, then " Alcohol Beverage Control Boards" under "Quick Links." This will give you the Alcoholic Beverage Commission locations for each state. You must be in compliance with them, your local zoning authority and the federal government before commencing operations. For information on federal excise tax rates, on our home page www.ttb.gov scroll down to "Information by Topic," then on the "Taxes" line, click on "Tax and Fee Rate." Also, please submit a legible photocopy of the Driver's License or official State ID card of the primary contact person who will be interviewed by phone by TTB regarding the application. This ID must be of one of the officers listed on your application. You also need to register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Bioterrorism Act. For information on this, go to their website at www.fda.gov and click on "Food", then "Facility Registration" which is under "Industry Resources." You should also click on "Bioterrorism" located at the very bottom of our homepage at www.ttb.gov. Here is a link to the forms/information in order to apply for a Federal brewer's notice: http://www.ttb.gov/applications/brewery_brewpub_packet.shtml. This link will give you the information you need to qualify as a brewery by submitting your application electronically through our Permits Online System. http://www.ttb.gov/ponl/permits-online.shtml. If you have questions, please reply back to this email. Thank you. (dah3179)
I requested paper copies via snail mail, those should show up soon enough....