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Whiskey from Craft Beer label help!


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The company I work for owns a brewery as well as a distillery. We want to be able to take our beer and distill and age it and label it as a whiskey. This isn't a new idea, I've come across a number of distilleries and articles talking about buying beer from breweries, distilling it and calling it a whiskey. We have tried several times to get approval but it always gets moved to the distilled specialty spirit category and any mention of the word whiskey on the label is immediately rejected. I've called both the labeling and formulation help desks and talked to the agents but they claim a beer would never be approved to become a whiskey. I understand the source material for whiskey has to be malt or grain based with no other additives such as hops. How are other distilleries getting through the approval process with their beer whiskies?


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It's going to be a DSS. Any labels that have it approved as "whiskey" are likely older labels that got through before TTB got up to speed on distilling beer.

Alternately, you could make a variation of your beer that conforms to the standards of identity for whiskey. You would have to use only grain, no adjuncts, and no hops during mashing and fermentation. After distillation, you could flavor it with hops and this would probably be approved as "hops flavored whiskey."

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R5 Whiskey from Charbay in California takes Racer 5 IPA and the distills and ages it. It looks like their label does not mention the original beer and is typed as a flavored whiskey (class/type 149). Here is their label: https://ttbonline.gov/colasonline/viewColaDetails.do?action=publicFormDisplay&ttbid=18066001001154

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