After years of home brewing and lots of research, I have completed my first of many applications to start a Nanobrewery on my residential property in Washington State. I use the term Nanobrewery loosely. Washington State doesn’t actually license a Nanobrewery. They offer a license for Domestic Brewery for production over 60,000 per year or a microbrewery license for production of less than 60,000 barrels per year. I will be producing beer on a small scale which will definitively be less than 60,000 barrels per year and will qualify as a Microbrewery.
One thing I have learned is there are many government agencies involved in the process of opening a brewery and all have different approval requirements. I will be dealing with local, Washington State, and Federal Government agencies.
I am planning on starting a production only brewery on my own property (no tasting room). I have a full time profession and my brewery isn’t planned as being an income source for me for several years. Even when profitable, I have no intent on becoming a full time brewer or brewery owner. My goal with the brewery is to continuously reinvest the money earned into additional equipment to provide growth. Since I am planning on starting the brewery on my own property, I am required to first apply for a “Home Occupation” permit. If denied, I would be forced to fit into industrial zoning requirements which would not make this feasible for me.
In my area, the legal definition of a ”Home Occupation” means an occupation customarily conducted entirely within a dwelling and carried on by the inhabitants thereof, which use is clearly incidental and secondary to the dwelling for dwelling purposes and does not change the character thereof. There are other specific requirements to obtain approval which I have not listed. I am also aware the TTB will not allow a brewery to operate in a garage which is attached to a home so I will be constructing a detached accessory building in the process. My application requires a site plan which outlines the location of the accessory building for the brewery. Unfortunately, I am not allowed more than 400 square feet for this brewery to operate per code requirements for “home occupation”.
Read original blog post