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Insurance People is fortunate enough to work with many breweries and distilleries across the East Coast. Because of this, we are always looking for new ways to educate our clients. As Risk Advisors, our goal is to not offer you appropriate coverages that protect your organization but also offer non-insurance solutions to decrease costs long-term.

Travelers Insurance wrote a blog titled, Breweries and the Craft of Managing Risks, which focuses on unique ways for businessowners to further protect their brewery. According to Travelers, “Brewers typically understand how important it is to have clean tanks and productions lines, because the impact can be immediate and spoil an entire batch.” However, there are other risks to consider as your craft brewery continues to grow. Below are seven ways to help protect your craft brewery from risk:

  1. Protect your supply chain – Do all your hops for a seasonal brew come from one supplier? That could leave you vulnerable to supply chain issues. Make sure you have a steady and available supply of ingredients; at the quantity you need. Contracts with growers in a specific geographic area, where hops flourish, can be competitive. Have a backup supply plan in case there is a problem receiving a shipment in time.
  2. Plan your response to a product recall – Suppose there is a problem with a label, and an allergen, such as wheat, is not mentioned, or a foreign material is discovered in one of your bottles. Have a plan for everything, from how you will notify customers and get products off the shelf, to how you will engage a lawyer and address consumer concerns on social media.
  3. Ensure employment contracts protect your IP – Contracts should ensure that if a master brewer leaves the brewery, all recipes remain the property of the brewery and cannot be replicated at a completing brewery.
  4. Train staff on liquor liability – If you are holding tastings on your property, make sure staff are properly trained on serving alcohol to patrons. Assign volunteers to other tasks rather than serving alcohol if they are not properly trained.
  5. Consider liabilities when holding special events – Events can present a range of risks, from injury to patrons who might slip in an area not intended for visitors, to security issues. Consider adding lighting, warning signs and blocking off areas of the brewery that might present tripping hazards or attract children. For larger events, an event management company can provide security and help manage risks.
  6. Understand advertising liability risks – Be aware of using names and logos that are protected by copyright in your advertising and packaging. Trademark your own beer names as early as possible to avoid duplicate names.
  7. Work with an insurance company that works with craft brewers – working with an insurance carrier with locations in multiple states and a global presence can help brewers as they expand.

In addition to these seven tips, it is also suggested that Brewers also hire staff outside of the brewing industry. Travelers Insurance suggested it can be helpful to hire, “employees with business savvy, from bookkeeping to marketing”. For more information, please follow this link.