Brewery Insurance

I had to do something with my home insurance today and I went to my agent’s website. Right there, Whalen Insurance was proudly proclaiming their brewing insurance program. Whalen is located in Northampton, one town over from where I live. The company has had insurance for brewers since 1987 when the Northampton brewery opened the second brewpub in the Northeast.

Given that I wrote a book on beer, it struck me as funny that my insurance company has this program.  I hadn’t ever thought about it but I guess many businesses need specialized insurance to provide coverage for their specific activities. The Institute of Brewing Studies/ Association of Brewers endorses the Whalen program.

The insurance is for breweries and brewpubs and covers property, general liability, workers’ compensation, liquor liability, equipment breakdown, and automobile. Liquor liability must have to do with serving alcohol and the risks involved.  On the website, they provide information about brewery safety and OSHA regulations.

Looking at all the different aspects of insurance for a brewery, I realize how complicated an endeavor opening a brewpub or brewery would be. Despite the romanticizing of craft brewing, it really is a business.

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One Response to Brewery Insurance

  1. David Allan says:

    I ran a small brewery here in the UK about 20 years ago, and our insurance costs were very low. One of the reasons why my employers sold the business to a bigger company (Bell’s, now part of Robinson’s) was because these costs went up considerably owing to the increased number of claims from people looking for compensation for all sorts of occurrences from falling down steps after one or two drinks too many (we got rid of steps and replaced them with ramps) to health problems which may, or may not, have had some connection with drinks they may, and again may not, have bought from us. Insurance certainly is a complex issue!

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