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Found 58 results

  1. Fellow Distillers, We are working on launching our bitters line but running into issues finding out TTB labeling requirements. Has this happened to anybody else? Thank you for your help! Our recipe is finalized, all the ingredients are GRAS, it is unfit for beverage purposes and therefor non-potable. We've gone through the https://www.ttb.gov/ssd/drawbacktutorial.shtml and would like to start designing our labels as we submit. Has anyone found a page where the TTB explicitly states labeling requirements? Is it the same as for regular distilled beverages? Also anybody out there who has successfully submitted do you have to send in a 2oz sample? Thanks Everybody!
  2. Just getting ready to put together our TTB DSP application. I have read many of your horror stories on how long it takes to get the operating permit. I know there are several firms that assist folks like me on crafting and submitting the application. Has anyone used a service like this? Is it worth the money? We're talking $2500 to $3000. But if they can save months of downtime while I'm still having to pay a lease....might be worth it. How daunting is the whole application process? Feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  3. Maybe a bad idea. I"m not an attorney, disregard post.
  4. Change in Control Purgatory

    Hey all, Looking for any and all advice on the pickle we've ended up in. So, I recently bought out all of the shares of a micro-distillery run by a couple and have submitted the amended DSP paperwork for the TTB to approve the change in control of the company. I did this on paper, sending in a ream of documents to the National Revenue Center in Ohio. Because of that approach, I can't check on the progress of the proposed amendments. More importantly, I still cannot get signing authority because the TTB does not recognize me as a legitimate officer in the company yet. This prevents me from applying for COLA's or even paying excise taxes. So far, we've just had to have the previous owner do these things for us, but obviously this is not ideal. He's not involved in the business anymore in an active way and is moving out of state to boot. Anyone have a similar experience or tips or loopholes to getting signing authority faster? Thanks and all the best, Nick
  5. Distillery in Malt Plant

    We are building a malt plant and wish to have a distillery in the same building. Can the malt plant be part of the bonded area? We will be making all malt whiskey. I have searched the TTB site and there is nothing that seems to address this issue.
  6. Who has the answers?

    I am finally ready to file with the TTB for permits. My state (Alaska) has said I can not do anything on the local level to be ready until I get the final approval with the TTB. Is this correct? I have ready a very good post where someone states that you should get everything done at the local/state level FIRST. Has anyone had to go to their state after? I have also been researching companies for bottling and equipment. I have seen tons of compliments on US companies and have settled on Paul at Distillery-Equipment.com should I go US. I have also been looking into several Chinese manufacturers. However, the Chinese companies seem to take forever to get back to me and that worries me a bit. Have anyone had any good experiences with a Chinese manufacturer for their equipment? The company I found for bottling is Rockwood Glass - does anyone here have any experience with them? I tried to do a search in the forum to see if I could view any discussion with their name but did not see a feature to do this. I have no problem putting in the time reading the forums (I cant count the hours in so far). Thought I would see if I got lucky with a response. Software - I have read several posts on the software and I initially thought I would go with Stillhouse, but after reading people that had used Stillhouse AND Whiskey Systems; I got the overall feeling that Whiskey Systems was just as good but less money - if this is incorrect, can someone correct me? Marketing - Where have you found your best ROI has been when trying to tell your town you exist. What local marketing worked best? Where do you think you lost the most money? Has anyone tried Groupon as a way of getting people in; if so which catch worked best ($5 tasting, $10 tour + free tasting, etc?). What sells the best besides the booze? Cups, shot glasses, sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, etc.? Not sure what to be pre-pared for here. In my state, I can only be open from 9a till 8p; what are the best operating hours in your town? I was thinking a short day 4p-8p for the tasting room (except weekends 11a-8p). We will always have our master distiller there, so if someone walked in - he could technically still help them. Are we cutting ourselves short on the hours? I am just thinking if they REALLY want to check it out, they would come later......I also don't want to kill myself from sitting around all day, when I could be out visiting bars, restaurants, and stores. I was recommended by another distiller to pay for a lawyer to help with the TTB, but when speaking to another distiller a week ago he said he felt that his process was much faster because he was able to get back to the TTB immediately. He thought having a lawyer handle everything could actually delay some things. Overall thoughts? A big thanks to everyone that has posted on here; the community is amazing. I love that everyone shares and they have built such a strong group of educated people. I thoroughly enjoy learning from everyone here. I cant wait to one day be posting and sharing my success for the future.
  7. The TTB permit tutorial states: Did you know that tasting rooms for Distilled Spirits Plants: Cannot be on bonded premises nor can they be on general premises. You must have an area that is completely segregated from the distillery. Any information regarding tasting rooms/retail areas should not be listed in the application information. It should be shown on the diagram so we can ensure sufficient segregation and separate entrances for that area and the distillery. I have attached a basic sketch of my proposed layout for my micro-distillery. I have a 50 gallon tower still and the space I am leasing used to be a micro-brewery, FYI the footprint of the space is 375 SF. It's inside a mill building with other retail units, the space is already up to fire codes with sprinklers etc. However, where I plan to have the still is not separated by a wall. I was curious if the fact that the production area is in one corner away from the tasting if that would meet the TTB demands. Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance. layout.pdf
  8. I (we) are about 98% done with our 1st DSP application, just one more stumbling block...I think. We are going to fall under the new bond requirements: "ELIMINATION OF BOND REQUIREMENTS FOR SMALL BEVERAGE MANUFACTURERS As of January 1, 2017, if you are the proprietor of a brewery, distilled spirits plant, or winery owing not more than $50,000 in excise taxes in the previous year, and you expect to owe not more than $50,000 in excise taxes in the current year on beer, distilled spirits, or wine, you may no longer be required to hold a bond. Please see our Bond and Filing Changes Home Page for more details." However, in the application I see that this TTB Form 5000.18 Change in Bond (Consent of Surety) form keeps populating as a required form. Do I still need to fill this out? Why do I need to fill this out? And if anyone has been in a similar situation how did it go for you, how long did it take? Thanks in advance, cheers.
  9. US Citizen not Born in USA

    Been making a lot of progress with the permit application, almost done and ready to send in. Currently one hiccup. We are an LLC so I am doing all of the OOI's for each person. However, one of the owners is my wife who is a US Citizen but was not born in the USA. She moved here when she was 4 and went through all the proper channels to become a citizen. Current problem is on the OOI form they ask for DOB, City of Birth, State of Birth etc...But they do not have an option for other countries. Anyone run into this or have suggestions? I have reached out to the TTB but right now they are heavily delayed. Thanks in advance Just found answer, I need to choose FR as the state for Foreign, wish all my problems were this easy.
  10. In the process of putting together initial application for DSP. We are 4 partners that have an LLC and in the TTB application there are required documents for each owner/officer. One of these is a Source of Funds SOF. They require a current bank statement and the previous 3 months of bank statements from each partner. I realize we are all going into business together, however, we may not all want each other to see our bank statements. My question - is there a way to provide the info without compromising all this financial data to the other partners? Or has anyone else dealt with this and found a way to keep this private but still meet the TTB requirements? Thanks in advance.
  11. R&D Removals and Inventory

    I have some Lemoncello that was made several months ago that did not meet our quality standards. It is currently bottled in warehouse and we have no plans for it at the moment. In doing some inventory reconciliation, I came across it and am trying to figure out what the proper designation for it is. It was originally written off as a total production loss, although I feel that it should have gone into the R&D category. Still having some left however, I am wondering where it fits into things. Does it need to go back into storage? Thanks, Chris Haag
  12. Do I need to submit anything to add a tasting room on to my distillery? I have been operating for over 2 years, and local laws are changing to allow me to now have a tasting room. I know you have to provide that info in the original plans, just didn't know if you had to resubmit.
  13. Happy 11/11 everyone!!! It has been a little while since I have posted anything new here on the forums and I thank you all for that based on the fact that ADI members have been keeping me VERY busy with insurance and bonding needs. Speaking of bonds, what a segue into the hot topic of the day. On 11/7/17 the TTB released new information in regards to the "Information for Alcohol Excise Taxpayers and Applicants for Permits and Brewers’ Notices Regarding Internal Revenue Code Amendments Affecting Excise Tax Due Dates and Bond Requirements". Specifically they cite the "Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (“the PATH Act”) (Public Law 114-113). Section 332 of the PATH Act amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC) to change excise tax due dates and remove bond requirements for certain eligible taxpayers (see 26 U.S.C. 5061 and 5551)." Are you sleeping yet? Still with me????? OK ............ This bulletin they released specifies new "Excise Tax Due Dates" that basically say that if you were not liable for more than $50,000 of taxable liability for the calendar year prior, and you don't think you will be above that amount this year, then you can pay your taxes on a quarterly basis beginning 1/1/17. That's cool. It also says that if you reasonably (can someone define what that may mean?? "reasonably" according to who???) expect to not be liable for more than $1,000 in taxes this year as well as in the prior year, you can now pay those taxes annually rather than quarterly. No offense here, but if you have less than $1,000 in taxable liability as a distiller, you have to be quite small as that is only about 463 bottles a year, or in other words, just under 40 bottles a month. Ok, on to the "beefier" subject of this information and what you are really wanting to know; who is exempt and no longer needs this pesky bond stuff anyway!??!!?!? Well, staring as of 1/1/17 it says, " ..... taxpayers who pay taxes annually (so anyone paying less than $1,000 a year, my words here, not theirs) or quarterly (so those folks doing less than an $50,000 a year in taxable liability) will be exempt from the requirements to file bonds covering operations or withdrawals of distilled spirits or wines for nonindustrial use, or beer." Based on the fact that taxable liability only comes into play when spirits are withdrawn (yes, in some cases destroyed, but lets not focus on the negative here people) for distribution/sale (not a transfer in bond, I know my stuff), then as long as you will have less than $50,000 in taxable liability you are good to go without a bond. So is this as clear as mud yet!?!?!?! Basically what is being said here is that if you are going to have less than $50,000 in taxable liability this year (and you had less than that last year) you do not have to have a bond any longer. "BONDS!??! WE DON'T NEED NO STINKING BONDS!!!!!!!!!!" WooHoo, right!?!?!? Well ................... not so fast there speedy. There are a few things to consider before making the call to your agent and telling them to cancel that money sucking bond (actually, my bonds are the lowest in the country so they are not "money sucking" at all). First off, are you close to that bond limit of $50,000? If you are close, or expect to be "reasonably" (hahahaha) close, you may want to leave it in place, just in case. You do not want to cancel the bond only to have to turn around a few months or a few quarters later because you have increased your sales/distribution which equates to withdrawal, and now need to be bonded again. Another aspect to consider is this, when does your bond term come due? I have a lot of folks who will fit the requirements to cancel their bond, however their bond terms renew in November or December. According to the stipulations, they need to renew and keep their bond up until 1/1/17, so they MUST renew it. Here is another caveat to that, depending on the surety carrier that issues the bond, the premium may be pro-rated (you can get money back for the unused portion of the term once you cancel) but they may keep a minimum of $100 service fee ............ or ............. if the premium is 100% full earned, you may not get anything back. Well, why cancel the bond at that point?!?!?! The other issue is that the TTB will not allow you to cancel the bond until all unpaid taxes are rectified from 2016. Once they are you can file for a bond exemption with the TTB through the PONL system but they never specify how long that process will take. So here again is something to watch out for. What if your bond term is after the 1/1/17 date and you file for the exemption but it takes them 6 months (for whatever reason) to process it. Do you need to renew your bond while this is in process? At this point in time I would suggest that you do renew it since you do not want to be out of compliance during the processing time. See, this is not as simplistic as it is made to sound. Obviously, these scenarios are all in regards to existing DSP proprietors. So what about new applicants. Well, for new applicants, since the current processing time for a permit is over 200 days, you should be able to apply for your permit and ask for the exemption during the permitting process. That part actually does sound simplistic and appears to be pretty straightforward. There is a first time for everything!!! So what does this all mean, in real facts and figures and how do you know if you will be below the magical $50,000 mark? Well here is a quick mathematical computation for you (keep in mind these numbers are rounded for simplistic purposes): Current excise tax liability = $13.50 per proof gallon (proof gallon defined as 50% ABV or 100 proof) Taxes are only due when spirits leave the plant, so anything in holding/process does not count against this amount Most spirits go out the door at 80 proof, so the tax rate then would be $13.50 x .8 = $10.80 per gallon (since it is proofed down) Therefore, $50,000 / $10.80 = 4,629 gallons a year or roughly 23,000 bottles of booze, or nearly 2,000 bottles a month Here are pretty much the same numbers but done in actual proof gallons (not rounded): $50,000/$13.50 = 3,703.7 p.g. One case of 12-750’s at 80 proof = 1.902 p.g. per case 3703.7 p.g./1.902 p.g = 1,947 cases or 23,364 bottles per year (cases rounded down to full case) 1947/12 = 162.25 cases per month 23,364/12 = 1947 bottles per month So there you have it folks. A long run for a short slide as it were. The just of all of this is that some of you may not need a bond if you are just getting going and some of you may not need a bond even if you are operating, however make sure you understand where you stand and when the bond term comes due before cancelling you bond. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I can be reached here on the forums, via email at aaron.linden@hubinternational.com , or give me a call or shoot me a text at 307-752-5961. I am always more than happy to assist you with your bonding questions and do keep in mind ***** I OFFER A FULL LINE OF ALL DISTILLERY INSURANCE NEEDS, AS WELL, I HAVE THE BEST RATES IN THE COUNTRY. ***** Just sayin'. Best, Aaron
  14. NOT oak

    So we have been trying unsuccessfully trying to get the TTB to respond to the question...."what do you (standards of identity) call a grain based product not aged in OAK barrels?"....apple barrels, cherry, etc., that of course calls the question what constitutes "aged in oak containers", a.k.a "the five second rule", what constitutes an "oak container" and what constitutes "new". (We got the TTB to allow us to use a modified, new, "traditional" oak barrel for use without attribution....easily, efficiently, happily, amazingly!!) I think we (micro-distillers) will eventually drive the TTB admins. to drink....imagine the huge increase in work load they are facing....like about a 4000% increase in bi-monthly revenue reports and the like (as our new, New York Governor says, "Jobs,Jobs,Jobs")....witness TTB-2011-0010-0001!!! (Comment period is soon to close, BTW) Let alone trying to define and adapt to the huge innovation and entrepreneurial force that WE, as micro-distillers represent. I have come to the opinion that WE (micro-distillers) are not competitors and that WE (micro-distillers) can easily take market share from the big boys via home turf relationships, neighbors and barkeeps and the like that adopt us as "local boys and girls make good" stories and brands. So the internet folks (IETF) have successfully out innovated the (read TTB regulatory and BIG alcohol) inertia and retained control of security, additional features, IM protocols and the like....maybe the ADI should be an self policing organization that defines new aspects of micro-distilling and interfaces with the TTB to help them/us through his watershed change....cause we are just now getting wheels under this bus.... The BIG alcohol folks are asleep at the wheel and yes though they have the cash to innovate, really can't, based on need to keep the monster brands producing results every 3 months. So has anyone got a product out there that has been sanctioned by the TTB via some "standard of identity" for grain spirits NOT aged in oak?
  15. TTB Formula Approvals - Meadowsweet

    Hey everyone, Has anyone ever tried to get a formula approved with the herb Meadowsweet (latin name Filipendula ulmaria)? I'm experiencing a lot of difficulty with my TTB officer at the moment. I know of multiple products that list meadowsweet right on the bottle/label, so I'm curious if anyone has any ideas why they want to deny me use of this herb. I've gone through three rounds of formula corrections all coming back negative. What do you guys think?
  16. I've been looking for a physical copy of 27 CFR Part 30, the TTBs gauging manual. I mostly want one for the tables and ease of use instead of printing tables out and putting them together in a big, clunky binder. Anybody know if these are available anywhere, or if they even exist?
  17. Under 27 CFD 19.166, the code states "A statement of certification of accurate calibration shall be included in the description of tanks that are to be used for gauging distilled spirits or wine for any purpose." Could someone translate this from LAWYER into ENGINEER for me? Does this mean that if a tank is used for measuring volume, that it must be calibrated and certified?
  18. case series, series number

    in CFR 19.490 is the "series" product specific for case and/or bottle numbers? If a company has 2 products, A and B, would the first 10 cases/bottles of each follow as product A: 1-10 product B: 11-20 or are both A and B: 1-10 case/bottles? Thanks
  19. First of all, who ever put this site together, great job. Have been reading through it and it's awesome to have a forum that answers most of our questions rather than trying to call the TTB and rarely get a straight answer. Ok, so curious if any other small facilities have had this issue. QUICK BACKGROUND: We filed for a new permit since we wanted change owners, father to son(we've had this small distillery for 20 years). As ttb came out to do there investigation they took 2 bottles to sample. We were told both bottles were at 81 proof not 80. Although we sent samples to another TTB certified lab and they gave us a reading of 80.23. Our inventory was only about 15 cases. Again we're a small distillery and we only bottle 6 to 12 cases at a time. Basically bottle when we need to. So end result the TTB investigator told us to stop all operations until the new permit is complete which will take another 2 months atleast because we were over proof and that didn't match our labels of 80 proof. We have one major account we can't afford to lose. Has anyone other distilleries gone through something similar? What did you do? Also, for some reason the TTB investigator didn't know the answer to this but does anyone the tolerance +/- you can be for spirits(Vodka, brandy)? is it .3 proof?
  20. I apologize in advance if this is a question I should have figured out the answer to by now. It's also probably a question best asked of a TTB agent, but I thought I would toss it here to see if anyone knew. I'm still in the planning stages, working on a distillery that would produce rum. Dunder is going to be a key ingredient to the flavor I'm looking for, but all of my research is telling me that it will take a while to get a good dunder pit going. I'm considering ways to get that in process while buildout, still delivery, etc. is happening. The key would seem to be that you want the dunder to have no alcohol left in it, lest you impede the growth of all of the fun bacteria. So... 1) Mix up a batch of molasses water, add yeast, boil the alcohol out, and let the bacteria take over. Can I do that without a DSP, if I don't intend to sell the alcohol? Alcohol is a byproduct of plenty of production processes, just not in that volume. 2) Mix up the molasses, leave it uncovered for a few days, maybe outside. Boil it to sterilize it again, then let the bacteria take over. Anyone have any experience with this?
  21. If you buy spirits in bulk, and then bottle them in your facility, what equipment is required to get a DSP license? Obviously you don't need a still to finish the product, but would you have to get one anyways in order to comply with the TTB?
  22. Source for all labeling rules by TTB

    Is the 27 CFR the only place listing rules from the TTB? or is there another guide?
  23. We need an Attorney or advisor to get a field agent to do his job. A new distributor in LA has been held up for 60 days due to a simple address change on a previously approved permit. We have product pre-sold and product waiting to ship. The TTB office states "No one can work on the other than the assigned agent." The agent has not responded to emails or phone calls.....My CA friends need help.
  24. ADI Convention in San Diego

    Dear Forum Members and Anonymous Info Gatherers, I am so very excited to announce that I will be in attendance at this years convention in San Diego and I look forward to seeing all my old friends and meeting so many of you that I have either communicated with already, or have yet to meet. I will be on the Expo floor located at booth #531 and I encourage all of you that are attending to stop by and introduce yourselves!!!! This year is going to be GREAT!!!!! Since I am always striving to be on the cutting edge of all things insurance and TTB bonding (if you have not read my whitepaper posted in the forums, go, read it right now! Actually, you can wait until you finish reading all of this post first, but then go immediately and read it!) I am super excited to announce that not only will I be in attendance this year, but as well I will have the incomparable Richelle Smith with me as well. Richelle is my TTB Bond underwriter and not only will she be there to assist in answering questions, SHE WILL ALSO BE ABLE TO UNDERWRITE AND ISSUE BONDS ON THE SPOT should you have a need. We will have all of the applications on hand as well as the ability to run all of the needed information and issue bonds right then and there. So, no matter if you are a "first timer" needing a bond for your up and coming distillery, or if you are just in need of a larger bond that you cannot procure though your "normal" channels, we have you covered. Oh, and BTW, our rates are the cheapest in the country for the last year and a half running. So you totally need to swing by and check that out as well since we do more of these than anyone else out there and we are fast, fun, friendly, and did I mention "cheap"!!!!!!!!! Last thing for your consideration, I will also be giving a presentation at the breakout session on Tuesday April 5th at 10:30 entitled, "Insurance: What you know, don't know, need to know" and I would love to pack the room! I promise it will be fun and not "boring old insurance", trust me, I get that insurance can be boring and a horrible topic. Not with me though, I hit all the fine points, the good stuff that you need to know and I keep it light unless you want very specified details. I can do that as well, but I like to keep that for only those that really want to know more as we get into the "nitty gritty" later on. Anyway, please, everyone stop by the booth, say "hi", get a bond while you are in the neighborhood (I want to keep Richelle super busy), and come listen to and interact with me during my presentation. I simply cannot wait to see everyone and I look forward to meeting many of you for the first time.
  25. Hey all, I had a question about applying to formulas online. We have a re-distilled gin formula that has been approved for FONL and we think we have a very good gin. However, since we are being held up by some local issues and have the time we were thinking of doing some experimentation to see if we could make it even better. My question is can we submit an alternative recipe through FONL for the same product. For example if we have something called "The Best Damn Gin" approved as the brand name can we submit another formula for "The Best Damn Gin 2.0" and amend our COLA to correlate to it if we are approved. For clarification, we are not in production yet so we aren't trying to change the flavor of a product already on the market.
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