The craft beer industry has been built up by passionate, talented brewers, who have invested their time and energy to create new flavors and brewing techniques. As the brewery grows, business risks arise that should be addressed before something goes wrong. These tips cover some of the basics to reduce the risk of breweries.
Proper decontamination of spills and broken glass
A taproom is a popular and cozy place to visit. Many of these facilities have a smooth cement floor. Beer and other beverages are often spilled by customers or employees, which poses a risk of slipping and falling. After a spill, have staff remove glass and liquids completely, and place signs to warn customers of a wet floor.
The CDC reports that one in five cases causes an injury, such as broken bones, head and brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Brewery cottages must maintain reasonably secure premises, and if they do not, they can be held liable in a claim or a lawsuit. Make sure your corporate insurance coverage has policy boundaries that reflect the risks associated with slipping and falling.
Do not overstretch
It can be difficult to keep an eye on every customer, especially on a busy weekend night, but customers who are obviously drunk can put your business at risk. A drunk customer can become aggressive and assault another customer, or leave the company drunk, drive a vehicle and cause a crash. Many states have “dram shop”; laws in place that allow victims of drunk driving accidents to sue a salesman who served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated customer. Slowly serving a customer who seems to be consuming drinks too fast. It may not be nice, but to protect your business, it is recommended that you refuse service to a person who enters your facility obviously drunk.
Use the correct tank and line cleaning processes
Brewing beer is an art and a science. The brewing process requires that all brewing equipment be kept clean, sanitized and thoroughly rinsed to ensure that no residues of cleaning products remain. The draft beer lines must be thoroughly cleaned to remove any bacteria, yeast or mold that may be present in the beer served to a customer who may become ill. Product recalls and sick customers can lead to claims against your brewery.
Protect your brewery with patents, trademarks, trade secret protections and contracts
Properly registering your trademarks, registering patents and ensuring that everyone involved in the brewing process signs contracts that protect your intellectual property are critical aspects of doing business. If another person steals your recipe or your brewing technique, the cost of litigation can become astronomical.
The right business insurance
Breweries should have comprehensive business insurance to protect against claims, lawsuits, alcohol liability, advertising and libel claims, as well as insurance to protect against destruction, equipment breakdowns and business interruptions, along with work injury compensation and other necessary insurance. To get the most comprehensive brewery insurance in place, talk to one of our local insurance agents.