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Mead Tasting went well...now what about selling to friends?

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YogiBearMead726

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So yesterday, Baer32 and I invited some friends over to try some of the meads that we've been making for the past couple of months, and the feedback was very nice and great to have for where to improve. I think we also inspired some of those who came over to "invest" in future batches. Basically, I'm hoping to pawn off the bottles to cover "cost of operation" (ie honey, yeast, nutrients, bottles, corks...) at around $6-8. I guess I was just curious to see how many people have started off this way, or if it is even a good idea (I wouldn't want the Feds crashing through my door...) Granted, I wouldn't be trying to sell or advertise it in stores unless I had a license and a meadery, but any thoughts on selling to friends? I would give it away for now, but I don't have the funds to keep buying honey for that... :p
 

YogiBearMead726

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Hahaha, sounds good. Though I doubt I would start an underground speak-easy or anything like that. Bootleg brew scares me...maybe I can just give away little 187mL champange bottles to pique interest in people who can invest in a future company. :p
 

icedmetal

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Nov 16, 2009
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Tell ya what... if it were me, and I was planning such a thing, the internet is the last place I'd talk about it. But that's just me. :p
 

mmclean

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Jul 22, 2010
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All joking aside, I feel ya as to wanting to recoup your cost. I have thought about bartering, but the Govorment thinks that it should be taxed...so I wonder hqw legal it is to even gift your mead.

Keep it straight if your planning to ever go legit. :cool:
 

AToE

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Jun 8, 2009
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People can give you gifts of ingredients, which can later be returned in their finallized forms. That's the route I'd go personally.
 

Matrix4b

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Dec 17, 2008
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I have found that the best term is donation. I think that the government doesn't really care about the little guy unless the little guy is making money. Or rather if someone thinks that you are taking away from other brewers. That said, we homebrewers step a fine line.

I have heard of many techniques.
Donations for supplies.
Education: You are teaching the art to your friends.
Being paid for your time, rather than the brew.
Taste research opertunities.

Many of these techniques work, Just be subtle with it and don't brag. I personally have receive my first comission for a batch of mead. It is a personal milestone.

But, I suggest you stick with them giving you money to buy supplies.
 

YogiBearMead726

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Awesome advice everyone. Thanks for the suggestions, I think that I'll go the donations route for supplies. And yes, bragging/advertising/marketing would have to wait until I'm starting up a meadery. And I definitely plan on getting the appropriate permits and such once I go legit (ie an actual meadery).

Also, congrats on getting a contracted batch!! That's awesome! :)
 

Medsen Fey

Fuselier since 2007
Premium Patron
Awesome advice everyone. Thanks for the suggestions, I think that I'll go the donations route for supplies. And yes, bragging/advertising/marketing would have to wait until I'm starting up a meadery. And I definitely plan on getting the appropriate permits and such once I go legit (ie an actual meadery).
Unless orange is your color, or you look particular good in horizontal stripes I would strongly encourage you not to pursue this course of action. The TTB has ZERO sense of humor, and ZERO tolerance for bootlegging and that is exactly what you are describing. The Federal code allows home wine making for personal use, not for barter.

Think the Feds won't come knocking just because you are small scale? If someone reports you, they'll be quite happy to make an example of you to boost up their numbers of busts/convictions. Why would someone ever report you? Oh, maybe someone consumes too much and gets arrested for DUI, and they (or their very angry spouse) starts talking. You can come up with many such scenarios, and any one of them can have you facing federal charges.

If you want to sell your mead, get the appropriate licenses, pay the taxes, and play it smart.

Medsen
 

YogiBearMead726

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Unless orange is your color, or you look particular good in horizontal stripes I would strongly encourage you not to pursue this course of action. The TTB has ZERO sense of humor, and ZERO tolerance for bootlegging and that is exactly what you are describing. The Federal code allows home wine making for personal use, not for barter.

Think the Feds won't come knocking just because you are small scale? If someone reports you, they'll be quite happy to make an example of you to boost up their numbers of busts/convictions. Why would someone ever report you? Oh, maybe someone consumes too much and gets arrested for DUI, and they (or their very angry spouse) starts talking. You can come up with many such scenarios, and any one of them can have you facing federal charges.

If you want to sell your mead, get the appropriate licenses, pay the taxes, and play it smart.

Medsen
Hmm...thanks for the reality check. Guess I'll just be saving money the old fashioned way and paying my own way into starting a business. I know the government has it's laws and regulations for a plethora of reasons...they just suck sometimes...I guess it's the price we pay to avoid drinking moonshine that makes us go blind or use of ingredients that aren't safe for human consumption, just to save some money. Liability is a pretty important thing in the legal system I suppose.

I'll stick to tasting with friends on my own dime, and get investors once I have all the paperwork in order. Thanks again, Medsen.
 

pain

GotMead Owner
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Apr 5, 1996
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Closing the thread, folks. This sort of talk gets people arrested, and can get Gotmead shut down.

If you really want to discuss it, do it via email (not PM) and take your chances with the FBI Carnivore system, but please don't endanger yourselves or the site by doing it here.....
 
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African Bronze Honey - 50% off for GotMead members