Sator Square Distillery

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About Sator Square Distillery

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    Bucks County, Pennsylvania
  1. I feel like there's plenty of room for everyone. So long as someone isn't claiming to be producing something they're not, I don't see any problem. I'm just getting started myself, and I'll be using grapes that we grow ourselves on our own vineyard. It can't get more straight from the field to the bottle. I would have no issues at all being part of a diverse group that includes those that grow their own product, source it and buy it to mash and ferment themselves or straight up purchase GNS, redistill or infuse or whatever. There's a lot of creative processes out there, and it's my view that we can all benefit from sharing what we've learned with each other.
  2. I'm not an attorney. But as I understand it, it's not easy to get a patent for a recipe. You'd have to demonstrate that your process is both "novel" and "non-obvious". I would think that a sour mash recipe is probably both of those things. But what do I know.
  3. What I think is clear is that each TTB officer reviewing these DSP applications may process them differently. My officer had a big problem with my DSP being located on the same property parcel as a residence. I had to show that the land was actually zoned agricultural, and not residential. I also had to install a fence to create a physical barrier between the DSP and the residence located 100 yards away. He sent me an email with an intention to deny my application because it was located on the same parcel as a residence prior to me showing him the supporting documents. My experience may not be typical. But its a good idea to be fully over-prepared to respond to these sorts of demands if they come up. Better to have that preparation ready and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
  4. The TTB will assume that you've complied with all state and local laws and permits. It's really up to the local municipality as to how easy or hard it will be to locate your DSP there. They generally will want you zoned industrial since it's technically manufacturing, but variances are often given out. Don't forget that zoning variances usually take input from locals at an open hearing, so it pays to go around and be friendly ahead of time. So it totally depends on how cooperative the locals are and that varies to both ends of the extremes. Even if there's nothing legally a local municipality can do to deny you, they can always have the fire marshal put the thumbscrews to you and make it very expensive on you so you go away. Hopefully you have it easy in that regard. Best of luck
  5. Does anyone have any experience with vinyl gaskets? I've found them rated as G (good) resistance to ethanol, but as stated above some of these lists do not have the same ratings.
  6. Very good advice that I think still holds up since it was posted. I'm just about ready to get started producing here. I'm waiting on a final approval from the PA LCB since I was given prior approval. I ran into the specific issue with the TTB regarding the presence of a residence on the property. The TTB officer assigned to my application initially was going to deny it, and quoted this regulation here: 26 US Code 5178 - Premises of Distilled Spirits Plants. Section B: (B) No distilled spirits plant for the production of distilled spirits shall be located in any dwelling house, in any shed, yard, or inclosure connected with any dwelling house, or on board any vessel or boat, or on premises where beer or wine is made or produced, or liquors of any description are retailed, or on premises where any other business is carried on (except when authorized under subsection (b)) The TTB has very broad authority to define what the word "connected" and "premises" means. I was told that they can consider anything located on the same parcel of land to be "connected" to the same "premises", even without any sort of physical connection between the buildings on that land. I know that is counter-intuitive to common sense, but you're dealing with the federal government. They hold the cards. Our property is zoned AG-1, protected agricultural, not residential. So once we established that fact we were able to compromise with a fence separating the home located on the parcel from the DSP. I believe the zoning of our property made the difference between approval and denial, and our willingness to do whatever it took to meet them halfway. If your property is zoned residential I would not expect it to get approved by the TTB. Your local municipality would likely have a problem with that too, but YMMV. My advice to anyone in a similar situation is to NOT ARGUE with the TTB officer. They have the authority to deny your application, or approve it on a case by case basis as they see it. Even if they're not right they are still right. Finding a way to compromise is going to be a lot less expensive than hiring a lawyer.
  7. I'm just about to get started in the next couple of months here in PA. I can't speak to NJ, but I think this is a good time to start a limited distillery in PA. Act 39 and 166 have made it easier to interconnect your products with limited wineries and breweries in PA. At least where I am, it feels more like a cooperative than a competitive market. The more locally made product that's available draws in more people, which is good for everyone. My situation is not typical to most starting up, but if you have any PA specific questions I could share my own personal experience navigating. Best of luck.
  8. I'm starting up my small craft distillery this year. I've taken a look at a couple companies offering bottles, labels and closure but I'd like to see more options before I make final decisions. If anyone here would send samples or catalogues, please PM me for our address. Thanks Justin Sator Square Distillery
  9. Got the approval today, after about a week of waiting on the corrections and haggling on the fence. That's a 8/5/16 date my app was received and a 2/15/17 approval date, all said and done. Already have the PA LCB and local approval, so it's all full ahead here.
  10. Thank you very much for your thoughtful input. I may have pulled the same specialists that gave you a hard time. I will do whatever they ask me to do to get this approved. If that means putting up a fence, I'll definitely do that even if all it does is keep out the deer that wander through the woods. My parents are in their 60s, so I gather their fence climbing days are over. I guess I was just surprised since I assumed that the statues were interpreted literally. The word "in" means in. Not near, not close by, not within a certain number of feet. "in" means "in". Otherwise, I believed the statute would have been written differently to include those other words. The word "connected" also has literally meaning that I understand very well from local building ordinances. There is no way my local fire marshal or building inspector would argue that my DSP is connected to my parent's house 100 feet away in absence of a physical connection. But I guess that was my mistake is thinking that these statutes were always regarded literally. That's just my view, which doesn't mean anything in regards to license approval of course. Ironically, I thought I would get more trouble from the local township and state licensing, which have all given me the green light already.
  11. Just got an officer to look at my application yesterday. I applied on 8/5/16, and he's asked for a few corrections (no big deal) and made a request to fence in my DSP that's located in a garage bay in the woods about 1/4 mile down a gravel driveway on about 100 acres of farmland off a rural route. It's on agricultural zoned property (AG-1), and there's a residence on the farm about 100 feet away, so I guess that's their concern, but there was nothing in the regs about that. Hopefully putting a fence on the plans lets this gets approved? I'll keep you posted.
  12. How did you get your application escalated? I didn't think they would do that unless they were outside their normal processing estimates, which it doesn't look like they are now. But good for you if you can get yourself started. I'm not in a huge hurry. I'm setting up in a building on my family's vineyard and they're not charging me any rent, which I know is a very very big deal to not have that expense without production.
  13. I applied on August 5th, so this gives me hope that they're somewhere near my file in that pile. Maybe. Congrats!
  14. Thank you for the welcome! We already have a pretty well established winery that draws people in on the weekends. So I think we should get a good jump on getting our spirits in front of people without having to do a lot of extra legwork. I'm thankful for that, since I know that's not typical. So I'm just waiting on the TTB license to come through and then apply to the LCB, which shouldn't be a big deal since we're already very familiar with them dealing with the vineyard winery. If anyone else is distilling using grapes or grape pomace, I'd love to pick your brain on it. Thanks Justin
  15. Hello. I'm located in SE PA and currently waiting for TTB approval on a small shop. I'll be opening up a small space on my family's vineyard, and looking to make grape based vodka, gin and brandy. It'll be a small setup that I can work myself at about 250 square feet in a converted garage bay. So far so good with the building inspector and fire marshal. Hopefully be up and running with all the permits, licensing and hoops by May or June of next year.