So you want to open a brewery in Iowa?
If you like long hours, hard work, constant cleaning, and the occasional snarky critic, the brewery life might just be for you. To assist you, we’ve compiled a list* of links to the information that will be essential to your quest. Good luck!
- Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD)
- Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverage Laws and You (ABD)
Briefly, Iowa offers two types of licenses for breweries: Native and Brewpub. Native Breweries are able to have a taproom to serve beer or hard cider (but not wine or spirits), and are afforded the luxury of self-distribution of their products. Some serve food; some don’t. Brewpubs are able to serve wine and spirits, but are not allowed to self-distribute.
- Licensing Applications
- Beer & Wine Tax Forms
- Keg Registration
- Frequently Asked Question List from the ABD
- Federal Brewer’s Notice, Labeling, Taxes, Regulations, and Forms (TTB)
- Iowa Department of Public Health
- This Book:
- It’s not cheap, but pick up a copy of The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery, by Dick Cantwell.
Don't just take it from us!
A few comments on local zoning and other considerations from Iowa brewery owners:
One more thing...
Insurance, Bonding, Accounting, Business ownership structure (LLC, Investors etc), Funding, Suppliers (hops, malt, yeast, chemicals), Branding/Trademarking/Design all that jazz, Self-Distribution do's and dont's.
The Iowa Brewers Guild’s Allied members can help with some of the elements of brewery ownership/operation, and you can find them here.
*This probably isn’t comprehensive and it’s certainly not legal advice. It’s simply a starting point. Do your homework!