Microbreweries and Brew Pubs

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Under T.C.A. § 57-5-101(a), brewers and wholesalers are prohibited from having any interest in the retail beer business; a brewer cannot sell beer at retail or operate a restaurant at which it sells its own beer. However, an exception to this rule allows a manufacturer in any county in Tennessee who meets necessary federal, state, and local licensing requirements to operate as a retailer at or contiguous to the manufacturer's location for sales of not more than 25,000 barrels per year for consumption on or off the premises, in accordance with the provisions of T.C.A. § 57-5-101(c); Attorney General Opinion 00-087 (5/5/00).

A business engaged in the sale and manufacturing of beer must obtain a permit from the city or county in which the business is located.  T.C.A. § 57-5-103.  Also, note that beer falls within the definition of food as defined in T.C.A. § 53-1-102, and therefore manufacturing beer is subject to regulation by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.  Accordingly, these establishments must also obtain a food manufacturing license from the Department of Agriculture.