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Ive been combing the forums and other sources for a while and have concluded the following. (please correct me if I'm wrong)

1 distillery in CA cannot sell direct to the public out of their tasting but they can charge for the tasting

2 the exception to this is a distillery with a brandy makers license can sell any spirit made from fruit direct to the public aka sell brandy out of their tasting room

3 a CA distillery must use a distributer to move finished product aka they cannot direct sell to bar or retail establishments.

Im hoping to get some input from all you california guys as if I am correct on the above 3 then growing success as a CA distillery is a damn big challenge

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think you are right. Think I got mixed up with a local zoning issue I'm dealing with about products grown on my parcel versus grown elsewhere, and my locals making me file for a non-permitted use if I use grain/fruit not grown on my parcel. Lots of legal mumbojumbo this last year trying to build a distillery and all. It's all mushing together. Sorry if I misspoke on that. Could always just call the state and ask, to be sure. There's a guy near me selling his brandy out of his tasting room, but he's on 100 acres or so of apples, so I guess that doesn't help answer the question either. Scrounge

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Ill have to go check out greenbar and see their operation. Scrounge, Thanks for the further input. Im still working my numbers on apple brandy production to see if it is feasible given my available resources

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's time to announce and see if we can get some help and support... CADG is jumping into the deep end of the legislative pool. As many of you know, we went after paid tasting legislation in 2013 and were successful. This bill was our first act as an association, and it was funded by many of our members at that time... one in particular (St George Spirits, a big special thank you).

We are taking the next leap... 2015 will see us introduce direct sales legislation in late January. The CADG took 2014 to gather resources, make friends in supportive industries and prepare for the 2015 session. We look forward to strong support from many of the trade associations in California, but our opposition will no doubt let their intentions known. California is ready for this to happen, we just need to put forth a strong presence in Sacramento...

If you are a distiller, prospective distiller, future distiller... or just a wildly enthusiastic distilling supporter... please consider helping us. Direct Sales is the number 1 issue our community needs to change in California. The CADG is a non profit, volunteer run and grass roots organization.

Please consider joining the CADG, or sending a donation to help us fund the legislative effort. The guild has no "overhead" so all funds go directly to the effort. If you have any questions, or want to get involved... email or call the office. Visit our website www.cadsp.org or email cris.s.cadg@gmail.com

Cris Steller

Executive Director

Partner Dry Diggings Distillery

El Dorado Hills, CA

916 235-4012

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  • 2 months later...

California has legislation introduced by Marc Levine (D) AB 1233 that is to change current law and allow Direct To Consumer Sales. 2015 is the year we hope will find us succesful. The California Artisanal Distillers Guild supported by all it's members, has worked to retain our lobbyist and is moving ahead. The language is below, if you are a distiller in California and wish to join or contribute, please get in touch.


Introduced by Assembly Members Levine and Eggman
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Jones)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Achadjian, Travis Allen, Bigelow, Bloom, Chávez, Cooper, Dahle, Dodd, Gordon, Harper, Maienschein, Nazarian, Patterson, Mark Stone, and Wood)
(Coauthors: Senators Hill and Wolk)

February 27, 2015

An act to amend Section 23363.1 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to alcoholic beverages.


AB 1233, as introduced, Levine. Distilled spirits manufacturers: licenses: sale on premises tastings.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act authorizes a licensed distilled spirits manufacturer to conduct tastings of distilled spirits produced or bottled by, or produced or bottled for, the licensee, on the licensed premises, under specified conditions. The act provides that a violation of its provisions is a misdemeanor, unless otherwise specified.
This bill additionally would permit the licensee to sell up to 3 bottles of product authorized to be produced or bottled by or for the licensee to each person at a tasting on the licensee’s premises, as specified. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Digest KeyVote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: yes Local Program: yes
Bill Text
SECTION 1. Section 23363.1 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

23363.1. (a) A distilled spirits manufacturer’s license authorizes the licensee to conduct tastings of distilled spirits produced or bottled by, or produced or bottled for, the licensee, on or off the licensee’s premises.
(B) (1) Distilled spirits tastings may be conducted by the licensee off the licensee’s premises only for an event sponsored by a nonprofit organization. A distilled spirits manufacturer shall not sell or solicit sales of distilled spirits at such event. The sponsoring organization shall first obtain a permit from the department.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “nonprofit organization” does not include any community college or other institution of higher learning, as defined in the Education Code, nor does it include any officially recognized club, fraternity, or sorority, whether or not that entity is located on or off the institution’s campus.
© Tastings on the licensee’s premises shall be subject to the following conditions:
(1) Tastings of distilled spirits shall not exceed one-fourth of one ounce and shall be limited to no more than six tastes per individual per day.
(2) Tastings shall only include the products that are authorized to be produced or bottled by or for the licensee.
(3) A person under 21 years of age shall not serve tastes of distilled spirits.
(4) Tastings of distilled spirits shall not be given in the form of a cocktail or a mixed drink.
(d) Notwithstanding Section 25600, the licensee may provide distilled spirits without charge for any tastings conducted pursuant to this section. The licensee may charge for tastings conducted by the licensee on its licensed premises.
(e) The licensee may sell up to three bottles of product authorized to be produced or bottled by or for the licensee to each person at a tasting conducted on the licensee’s premises pursuant to subdivision ©.


(f) This section shall not relieve the holder of a distilled spirits manufacturer’s license of any civil or criminal liability arising out of a violation of Section 25602.

SEC. 2. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

Cris Steller

Dry Diggings Distillery

California Artisanal Distillers Guild

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  • 5 months later...

CADG has successfully navigated the California Legislature... AB 1233 turned into AB 1295... and...

AB 1295 The Craft Distillers Act of 2015 is going to the Governors desk for his signature. The bill is found here:


This bill moves California into one of the leading states for distilling in the U.S. and we are proud to be associated with Marc Levine (D) San Rafael and Adam Gray (D) Merced authors of this bill. Privileges are now to include tastings as before (straight tastes) but also include sample cocktails, direct to consumer sales (2.25 liters Per Person/Per Day), Private events (full bar privileges) and ownership of eating establishments.

If you are a distiller in California and not yet a member, please strongly consider joining... the community is small, but we are making major accomplishments on behalf of the industry. Join us and be a part of this movement.


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  • 3 weeks later...

AB 1295 the California Craft Distiller Act was signed into law today by Governor Brown. All members of CADG should be extremely proud of making this happen. Team effort. If there was ever a reason to become a member, this is it. Thanks to all who have supported our cause, and we look forward to 2016 moving California Distilling ahead.

We look forward to thank Assemblymembers Marc Levine and Adam Gray along with all the other co-authors for being champions of our cause. The entire legislature and Governor have been supportive and have given us a bill that is amazing. Thanks are deserved to all... please consider sending a letter to your legislators telling them how positive the impact will be.


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