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Is that a thing here in the US?  I can't find guidance from the TTB rules, nor can I really find anything via google. I figured a beer could either add some whiskey to it for fortification, or breweries are fortifying via freezing.

 

 

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Breweries are not allowed to add distilled spirit to beer, or even to have bulk spirit on site. 

 

I know of some breweries that have done cryo concentration but I'm unclear if it was approved by ttb. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/9/2021 at 1:02 PM, JustAndy said:

Breweries are not allowed to add distilled spirit to beer, or even to have bulk spirit on site. 

 

I know of some breweries that have done cryo concentration but I'm unclear if it was approved by ttb. 

Concentrating alcohol is generally considered distillation by TTB and so that was probably not kosher. In the wine world concentration of alcohol is big business but the players that do it are qualified as DSPs

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Fortified beer is not a thing according to the TTB.  Our contact said we'd have to petition congress to get it passed, so no go on a collab idea! 

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Fortified beer may not be a category per se but a quick google search, or a quick stop at Bock fest in Madison WI, reveals TONS of craft brewers in the states making fortified Bock beers. 

 

Cheers

 

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You're google results must be different than mine, I couldn't drum up any references to a fortified beer. I see a couple of Eisbocks (which are cyroconcentrated, not really 'fortified' in the meaning of added spirits) but my guess is the brewery never submitted for formula approval which I know happens quite a bit. 

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2 hours ago, JustAndy said:

You're google results must be different than mine, I couldn't drum up any references to a fortified beer. I see a couple of Eisbocks (which are cyroconcentrated, not really 'fortified' in the meaning of added spirits) but my guess is the brewery never submitted for formula approval which I know happens quite a bit. 

I apologize for misspeaking I was following the context of the thread.

 

You are correct cryoconcentration is certainly not the exact same as fortifying a beer. However, it is done, in Eisbocks, which I was literally referencing with my bockfest reference. 

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On 4/1/2021 at 9:14 AM, SCLabGuy said:

Concentrating alcohol is generally considered distillation by TTB and so that was probably not kosher. In the wine world concentration of alcohol is big business but the players that do it are qualified as DSPs

Except it is kosher for a brewer to concentrate beer.  Nevertheless, in essence, you are correct. 

You find the rules for beer concentrate in part 25, the brewery regulations.  § 25.11 defines the term "concentrate," as used in that part, to mean  "concentrate  produced from beer by the removal of water under the provisions of subpart R of this part. The processes of concentration of beer and reconstitution of beer are considered authorized processes in the production of beer." 

The current subpart R begins at §25.261.  Basically, it and the following sections provide that the concentration must be done on brewery premises; you can only use water and CO2 to reconstituted the beer; the reconstituted beer must possess the characteristics of beer that has not been concentrated; and the reconstituted beer must be restored to the original volume. None of that directly says that you may not remove the concentrate as beer, but other documents make it clear you may not.  Rev Ruling 64-233, old but still in effect, was issued when the concentrate provisions were added to the beer regulations.  It explains:  "Treasury Decision 6673, C.B. 1963-2, 675, effective December 1, 1963, amended the Beer Regulations by adding thereto a new subpart "BB" [now "rfecodified" as R] which provides for "the concentration and reconstitution of beer on qualified brewery premises in the United States as authorized processes in the production of beer. These regulations neither classify the concentrate as beer nor provided that the concentrate produced in a qualified brewery in the United States can be removed from the brewery in concentrated form at the tax rate applicable to beer.  Rather, these regulations require full reconstitution of the beer on brewery premises, and specify that the beer so reconstituted from the concentrate is taxable upon removal from the brewery for consumption or sale at the tax rate applicable to beer in section 5051 of the Internal Revenue Code 1954. [My emphasis].  The fermented material used to make the concentrate and the concentrate, if produced in the United States other than on authorized brewery premises as a step in the authorized production of beer, would be subject to the tax imposed on distilled spirits. 

Note that "ice beer" made under the provisions of ATF Ruling 94-3 is not considered to be a beer concentrate, but there are restrictions on how much water you can extract.  The rule, as stated, is "The definition of "beer concentrate" in 27 CFR 25.11 does not include a beer whose volume has been reduced as long as there is not more than a 0.5 percent by volume reduction in the beer, and the resultant product retains its character as beer.

You can find both rulings on TTB's website.  

So, generally, there is no incentive to concentrate beer.  I think, based on vague institutional memories, which can mislead me,  that the concentration provisions came from a brewer, Schlitz I think, that wanted to transfer beer fermented at a mainland brewery to a brewery in Hawaii for packaging (it then could claim it was bottled in its Hawaiian brewery) and did not want to pay the cost of shipping water across the ocean.  

 

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