I wrote a post recently about how focused small-business insurance options are available for just about every industry you can imagine.
One of the industries that I have a lot of personal love for — and which has some of the most complex insurance needs: craft breweries.
A lot can go right when you open a craft brewery in Nashville, and that’s been especially clear over the past decade or so.
The growth of craft beer in Nashville
What was once a relatively desolate landscape here has become beyond fertile — we now have at least 20 excellent microbreweries in Middle Tennessee, all with their own personalities, all with their own fervent fanbase. And it just seems to keep growing.
Fat Bottom Brewing just moved to The Nations to expand with a larger home base and broader offerings, East Nashville-bred Southern Grist Brewing Co. is not even two years into its existence and it’s already opening a second location (also in The Nations). It’s exciting to see, as a Nashvillian and beer lover.
The flip side: a lot can go wrong when you open a craft brewery, too.
Unique craft brewery business risks
Depending on the kind of brewery you have — if it’s a microbrewery, a mid-sized brewery with a brew pub, a larger space with a restaurant — you’ll need to cover a mix of common small-business insurance needs. There’s workers’ compensation, commercial property liability and other basics. But you’ll also need to address needs more unique to the craft brewer:
— You’ll need inland marine coverage to protect against loss/damage of products in transit (your general property policy won’t cover your beer once it’s packed up and sent on its way).
— You’ll need liquor liability protection against the possibility of someone getting hurt or falling ill after drinking your brews.
— You’ll need to protect your expensive brewery equipment, not only to buffer against repairing or replacing the tools themselves but the lost business during any downtime.
— You’ll need coverage against spoiled or contaminated beer, whether from cross-contamination, refrigeration issues or something else. You also need to protect your ingredients, ahead of the finished beer.
— If you’re hosting events in your space, you’ll need coverage for that too.
We could keep going — there are a myriad moving parts in the craft-beer industry, and with them, a huge array of potential issues you need to protect yourself, your employees, your reputation and your business itself from.
Whether you’re getting ready to launch a new Nashville brewery or exploring new coverage for your existing business, I’d love to help you find the right small-business insurance fit.
Any other insurance-related topic you’d like to see me cover on the Tucker Coverage blog? Let me know — I’d welcome your feedback.