I want to start a small brewey in my town in Ohio. Nothing huge to start. Does anyone have any advise for me as to equipment that I have to have or can I just use homebrewing equipment to start? And any other advise on licensing and laws would help.
Welcome to BrewAdvice.com Frank.
This question is honestly a little too broad and all-encompassing for this site, but I'll try to give you some leads. Your best bet is to start reading, start researching, and start talking to people.
A word of caution before diving into craft beer, as the market isn't as fertile as it used to be thanks to the plethora of new breweries hitting store shelves. Many entrepreneurs are having feasibility studies performed to see if their local market can support and grow a brewery. Brewery Business Plan and the Feasibility Study Company are both run by the same company, but their studies are so accurate, they've been used by commercial lenders to issue pre-approval letters for loans.
Do you currently have homebrewing equipment? Chances are it won't be enough to start a brewery. It's just not cost-effective to brew 5 gallons at a time. But sharing with friends is a good way to get feedback on your beer.
As far as laws and licensing go, check out Anda's blog - Legal Libations
Some books you might want to check out:
Lastly, ProBrewer.com is a great resource for articles, a forum, etc.
That should get you started. Come back and ask more questions as you learn. There's a wealth of knowledge out there.
In addition to speaking to your state's liquor control board (if it has one) to find out what licenses you'll need to create alcohol products to sell, you'll want to check with your local health department to find out the rules regarding making consumables to sell. In a lot of places, you can't make foodstuffs to sell commercially in a private household. You have to use a commercial space or have a dedicated kitchen in your house that has no direct access to the rest of your house. That is, to go from this kitchen to the rest of your house you have to exit the building and re-enter through the residential entrance. You also often cannot use any of the equipment from your commercial kitchen in your own private kitchen. Your local, county, or state health department, whichever applies, will be able to point you in the right direction.
The TTB website is also quite useful in figuring out the federal licensing www.ttb.gov.
In both cases, you will need a commercial space. Brewing, no matter how small the operation is usually considered a light industrial or industrial use. But, you can start out on a small 1bbl system and grow from there if you wanted to.
In addition to the resources in PJ's response and above, here is another that is useful: