How to open a commercial cidery in your basement, part 1

A few weeks ago, I received my final licensing from the City of Portland, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and the Taxation & Trade Bureau (TTB, Federal) as a new bonded winery. The cidery is in the basement of my house, and as far as I can tell, I have the first such basement cidery in the country. (UPDATE 6/27/12: It has come to my attention that the Maloney family of West County Cider began their operation decades ago in their basement.)

To get to this point required a lot of construction, a lot of research and a lot of help from others who have been licensed in garages. For the most part, figuring out what to do and who to talk to and all the steps needed was the hardest part of the job. The actual licensing paperwork wasn’t too bad, nor too costly.

Over the course of the next few blog posts, I’ll run through each of the major aspects of the licensing: construction and building requirements, licensing procedures (and costs), and micro-sizing common commercial winery practices to fit in a basement.

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