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CA Soju Rules

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California statutes favor imported soju over domestically produced varieties. 

§ 23007. “Wine”
“Wine” means the product obtained from normal alcoholic fermentation of the juice of sound ripe grapes or other agricultural products containing natural or added sugar or any such alcoholic beverage to which is added grape brandy, fruit brandy, or spirits of wine, which is distilled from the particular agricultural product or products of which the wine is made and other rectified wine products and by whatever name and which does not contain more than 15 percent added flavoring, coloring, and blending material and which contains not more than 24 percent of alcohol by volume, and includes vermouth and sake, known as Japanese rice wine. Nothing contained in this section affects or limits the power, authority, or duty of the State Department of Health Services in the enforcement of the laws directed toward preventing the manufacture, production, sale, or transportation of adulterated, misbranded, or mislabeled alcoholic beverages, and the definition of “wine” contained in this section is limited strictly to the purposes of this division and does not extend to, or repeal by implication, any law preventing the production, manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated, misbranded, or mislabeled alcoholic beverages.
§ 23398.5. Sale of soju
Any on–sale license, issued pursuant to this division that authorizes the sale of wine, also authorizes the sale of soju, an imported Korean alcoholic beverage that contains not more than 24 percent of alcohol by volume and is derived from agricultural products.

What this means is a wholesaler of imported soju can sell to beer and wine licensees but a wholesaler of our soju (24% ABV) can not.

I think this a gross example of restriction of trade and unfair to California distillers.

I'm looking for CA distillers that produce soju to join us to petition the CA Assembly to change this rule.

Please PM or email me (kris at Golden Beaver Distillery dot Com) if you are interested in helping us.






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