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My goal is to start up a microbrewery, and sell my beers.
Where do I need to start in order to do this.

If I have all the commercial equipment to produce 200ltr batches, what would be the next step?

Off-license, tax requirements, health cert...? 

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You'd need to start here for compliance:


And here for C&E - http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/1996/0232/50.0/DLM...


Then you'll need to check out your local govt regs, and ensure you are compliant with those.


Find a friendly person at local or central govt (or pop in and chat to a brewer who has been through it all) and get the specifics.


It's not easy. It should be, but it's not.

Cheers Greig, much appreciated

Hi Paul, did you ever go through with this?

I was thinking of something similar but the cost and hassle of jumping through all the hoops as put me off



Hi Josh,

Yes I went through it, actually someone else sorted it all out for the brewery in the Homebrew Store. I havent looked at licensing my pilot brewery at home, as I can use the store brewery for commercial beer production. It was easy to do, our local council was very accommodating. The store is commercially zoned and seeing it is already a brew supply store, it was quick to get the certification sorted, we had a couple of visits from the council etc. I didnt have much to do with it, so cant really help with the full procedure, and its all really to do with local councils more than anything else. Have a chat to the council in the first instance, and they will lead you into the right direction. I have heard that Wellington City Council is alot harder on applications than Hutt City, but have no experience with Tasman DC. 

Cheers Paul

hmmm.. I did contact the council in the first place who told me I would need a liquor license to sell anything and a Customs Controlled Area to produce it, so I contacted Customs who then told me I'd have to pay excise duty as well and so forth, all of which I knew before hand!

Down the road from me is the Founders Park brewery so I have thought of approaching them and asking if I could bring my kit in to produce a batch there, but that still leaves me requiring a liquor license to sell anything produced.

So that got me thinking: why not allow other people to come in and use your own equipment to make their own beer!  Someone at Customs (since left) confirmed that this could be done within the law if the home brewer did so on their own property and could only produce up to 100 litres per month.  In my case the quantity is fine as I am only doing small 23L batches, but it would be a lot better if the brewer could come to my own property to make their beer, rather than take the kit off site each time.

I wonder if I could lease/rent out a portion of my property to the home brewer to use for the duration of producing the brew?  They then would have to transport it off site which is possibly another gotcha....

Yes we went through the council and customs licence process at the brew shop. We have a dedicated area for brewing that complies to the customs requirements. Any beer that is fermented on the premise, that leaves the premise has to have excise tax paid on it. Everything is logged, grains, fermenting volumes, kegged/bottled volumes etc.

The goal for the store setup, is to provide people with an AG setup (50ltr Sabco) that they can use to brew wort for takeaway and ferment, or ferment on premise for resale into bars under our licence. Like contract brewing but on a tiny tiny scale. We have only focused on the wort takeaways at the moment, until the people at the store can get up to speed with brewing. Plus I have been tied up with my own brewery build at home, so I haven't had alot of time free. 

Sounds like you have a good idea Josh, the biggest gotcha is the excise tax, if its brewed and sold, then tax has to be paid. Make sure you get a clear description of exactly what has excise applied to it. Our certification didnt clarify the that unfermented beer was excise exempt so we had it resubmitted and amended to reflect that.

In Australia there are a lot of places that allow brewers to come in and do an all grain brew, ferment in controlled conditions and bottle on site. They are providing all the  equipment, consumables and doing a lot of the work so it isn't really home brew but something interesting that will pop up here one day I guess.


In Australia I think the laws are different and it is allowed for someone to home brew for their own consumption away from their own property or premises but from what I have read and can make out from the NZ Customs laws it is not so here...

If anyone knows different please let me know!

I think it is a great idea to allow others to use your own kit to make their own beers, which I'm sure many do already..!



Well, we used to have a chain of "u brew" places here, similar to what Dene described above, so I don't know if the law was an issue there.

I contacted someone at Customs a few weeks back, as I was querying if it was allowed within the law to let other people use your own brewing equipment to make their own beer, and one of the replies was:

Sections 68A and 68B of the Act provides that any area within a persons private house or dwelling place that is used by that person to manufacture:

of beer in quantities of less than 100 litres per month and is exclusively for their own personal use and not for sale or other disposition to any other person is not required to be licensed as a Customs controlled area. That person is exempt paying excise duty.


The grey area is whether or not they must do the brewing within their own private house or dwelling place, or anyone elses, but from what I could divulge it must be within their own and the resulting beer must not be taken or removed from the property....

So the trick here is to have a portable brewery?

And I am trying to reply to the last post in this thread by Grieg but the reply button wasn't available... I searched out "ubrew nz" using google and one NZ result reported by localbuzz.co.nz is:

U-Brew (Nz) Ltd in 5b Waipareira Ave Henderson 610 New Zealand 

At that address is a car workshop, who tells me they have been there for 15 years!

In Australia there is the franchise: www.ubrewit.com.au

Which operates by having people come to them to do the brewing, so it must be possible there...

So what does all of this mean for home brew competitions and other events? Are they all breaking the law? 

I think they have mixed up their sections - 68B states nothing about monthly limits and 68A is about tabacco.

I think section 73 is what you want to look at for a brew-your-own type store. Basically as long as the owner does not do any of the brewing, etc. then an individual can brew up to 100 litres per month in this type of setup. the owner can supply the equipment, consumables , ingedients and instructions. The business must be licenced.

i would say that you can operate a brew-your-own store.

Don't know about the homebrew compitition question though, I would think the purpose of section 68B is to allow homebrewing but to restrict the use of homebrewed beer as a bartered item, I guess it comes down to the meaning of personal use - does it mean only I can drink my homebrew, or the use is sharing my homebrew with nothing expected in return?



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