You’ve worked hard to build a successful business. Now it’s time to make sure you’re protecting your investment.

All businesses that sell alcohol face unique challenges but craft breweries have additional risks that can keep you up at night. Many small and mid-sized breweries also operate restaurants so you may have exposure similar to a bar/restaurant like selling alcohol, kitchen accidents, food spoilage, and special events. In addition, you also have the risks that come with brewing like batch contamination, leakage, transportation/delivery, tasting rooms, production facilities, and more. You’ve put so much into your business, having the right insurance coverage can help protect your operation and minimize those sleepless nights.

With so many coverage options, what’s the right plan for you? Let’s review some of the risks you face and explain coverages available to help protect you and your business.

Food & Kitchen Risk

The food and beverage service side of your business presents many risks you should be prepared for:

  • Food Safety  – Obviously if your customers get sick, it’s bad for business, but it also opens you up to lawsuits. Illness or allergic reactions from food prepared in your kitchen can lead to legal action. Protection Options: General Liability Insurance and Product Liability
  • Food Spoilage – Improper storage or mishandling of food, power outages, or equipment failure can shit you down and cost thousands in replacements. Protection Options: Food Spoilage/Food Contamination Coverage
  • Theft and Vandalism – Your establishment may have special signage, large windows, or memorabilia on the walls. These items can be expensive and difficult or replace, costs can quickly go beyond the scope of a normal insurance package. Protection Options: Fine Arts & Memorabilia and Signage & Glass 

Brewery Risk

Turning barley and hops into beer is really exciting and, as you know, beer production has plenty of unique hazards:

  • Production Equipment Breakdown – From tanks to bottling equipment, an interruption in production due to equipment issues can be costly. Rapid response to these problems is critical. Protection Options: Equipment Breakdown and Business Interruption
  • Blending – Blending a variety of ingredients and additives is a critical step when making beer. If this is done incorrectly, thousands of gallons of beer can be lost. Protection Option: Product Contamination
  • Contamination – It’s possible for beer to get contaminated at some point in your process. It could be bacteria, a foreign object, or something else. If contaminated beer makes it to market you may be required to recall thousands of gallons. Protection Option: Product Recall  
  • Leakage – Storage of beer in kegs and tanks is another important part of the process. Leakage in these vessels can wipe out months of work. Protection Options: Leakage of Tanks and Kegs 

Taprooms and Special Events

A big part of the brewery experience for many operations is customer visits. What if someone trips and falls on your property or an intoxicated guest creates havoc?

  • Personal Injury – Accidents happen, a delivery person could get hurt on your property, a guest might fall in the parking lot. Defense costs can run thousands of dollars and if you’re found liable, it could be crippling. Protection Options: General Liability and Commercial Umbrella
  • Alcohol Related Issues – Alcohol consumption and accidents frequently occur together. It’s important to be covered for potential problems related to the consumption of alcohol on your premises. Protection Option: Liquor Liability 
Eric Aeppli
Eric AeppliBusiness Insurance Specialist