ZehrBREW – A Craft Brewery, Distillery & Winery Insurance Package

Craft Brewery, Distillery & Winery Insurance

Posted On April 15, 2020

The expansion of the Craft Brewing industry in Ontario has created a niche for a specialized insurance product, catered to the needs of the craft brewer. These brewers may produce products such as beers, ciders, meads, wines and spirits. Enter ZehrBREW.

The Story

The ZehrBREW package was created by Zehr Insurance to serve these segments of the market. Our love for home-brewing, craft beer and insurance create the perfect combination.

In 2019, we partnered with one of our insured’s (Shakespeare Brewing Company) to create our first ZehrBREW. To help us better understand the inner workings of our clients, our team at Zehr Insurance assisted in the brewing process, including recipe development, brew day, and kegging and cellaring. We also assisted in distribution on the day of release.

On Friday March 29th, 2019, we commenced our joint project with brew day! The ZehrBREW is a Marzen beer (German for ‘March’), a German beer style traditionally brewed in March. The brewers of this beer style traditionally used a natural process and airborne yeast to make the beer ferment.  During the months of April – September, the air was warmer which sometimes caused extra things to grow in the beer, sometimes making it dangerous to consume. Fortunately, we did not brew our ZehrBREW this way and it turned out delicious!

The ZehrBREW project was not only a learning experience, but an opportunity to support our lead charity, Brain Injury Canada. The making of our ZehrBrew raised almost $700. Raising money while brewing our own beer… what’s better than that?

The Coverage

Commercial General Liability

To protect your business and assets, liability protection is available in many limits, ranging from 2,000,000 and up to 10,000,000 and beyond. Liquor liability is required to insure for injury to persons and property caused by  customers who consume your products or that were served by you or your team. The exposure on each and every business is different and requires specific attention. Some may have a taproom. Bar or lounge area, while others may operate on a contract basis only and do not have a premises where they serve their product.

Commercial Property

Dependent on your type of operation (brick and mortar, contract, brewpub, etc.) your business will have different needs for your property coverage. Commercial property insurance includes coverage for your owned building, stock, equipment, and tenant’s improvements.

Business Interruption

Probably the most important coverage on any commercial policy, business interruption insurance provides coverage for loss of income due to an insured peril on your policy. This means that if you have to shut your business down due to an insurance claim, your insurance company with compensate you for your lost income as a result of that claim.

Other types of this coverage include contingent business interruption (when a claim occurs at a business that your earnings are contingent on), and extra expense coverage. Extra expense coverage pays for additional costs in addition to your normal expenses to allow your business to continue to operate after a claim. This could include such things renting equipment that was damaged or notifying your customers of changes in operations.

Boiler and Machinery Coverage

Provides coverage for repair or replacement to equipment and losses resulting from production interruption from damage caused by pressure vessels and mechanical breakdown. This is important in the brewing industry as you may have refrigeration equipment, fermenting tanks, and electronic brewing systems that could be damaged.

Excise Bond

The production of beer, wine and spirts is a highly regulated industry in Ontario. Excise tax is payable to the government once your products have been delivered to the buyer. The Excise Act ensures that all business associated with the production of alcohol carry Excise bonding. An excise bond makes sure that the brewery is paying all duties and following the regulations of the Excise Act.

We also have companies that will offer coverage extensions suited to your needs. These option extensions include:

Stock Spoilage

Covers loss of stock due to a change in atmosphere or temperature resulting from power interruptions.

Stock Contamination Coverage

Entire batches of product could be lost due to contamination. Stock contamination provides coverage for food products contaminated by the accidental introduction of a foreign material into the product.

Product Recall

Pays expenses involved in recalling a product that is defective before it can cause property damage or bodily injury. An example might be the over carbonation of packaged product, causing bottles to explode and become volatile while in retail locations. This extension would provide assistance in paying for your expenses in recovering the faulty product before it can cause further damage. 


Most common in causing damage to your stock items, some as bagged malts, packaging, and other items that are typically held for periods of time. Infestation is a specialty coverage in the food and beverage industry that provides coverage for losses caused by rodents, insects, bats, raccoons, skunks or other vermin.

Exhibition Floater

Almost all brewers, distillers and wineries will participate in a trade show at one time or another. An exhibition Floater provides coverage for your property and liability while you are away from your premises at a trade show or festival.

ZehrBrew Package

We have options to include or exclude many of the coverage options listed above, along with other extension packages. Talk to one of our brokers today to discuss.

The Testimonials

As an insurance broker, we have access to many insurance markets, allowing us to place your business with a company best suited to you and your individual business needs. Please check out a couple of our testimonials on how we have helped others in the industry!

We have been insured with the Zehr Brew brewery insurance program for 3 years now and are extremely satisfied. They understand the brewing industry and our specific needs. They are very approachable and easy to work with when it comes to any questions we may have regarding our policy. Our expectations have been exceeded and are happy to recommend Zehr Insurance to others in the brewing world.
Ayden Gautreau

Shakespeare Brewing Company, Shakespeare ON

Zehr Insurance was a great help when it came to setting up the insurance for our brewery. Their brewery specific policy covered everything I had thought of and many items I never would have thought of. It is always easy to get ahold of the folks at Zehr when I have questions and they are quick to find the answers.
Alex Menary

Square Brew Co., Goderich ON

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