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Building Code regarding small-scale beverage distilleries

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Ladies & Gents, After about a year of planning and doing the "magical mystery tour" of seeking funding, looks like I just may get this show on the road. However, I'm trying to see if I can avoid my building (a 4800 sq ft pole barn) for distilling (gift shop will be in a different building) being classified as an H-2 or 3. I don't know how many of you out there who have recently been through the process of setting up who've encountered issues with this. My main concern is that I'm in the country and doing a sprinkler system and the like would substantially eat into my budget. Furthermore, I'm talking very small scale production (a 100-gal still). I'm trying to find any info in the IBC that may help me avoid being classified as hazardous materials. The best I've found thus far is table 307.1, but that's still a little vague. I'm simply talking about the production facility, not storage (ie barrels and the like). Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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As Bryan indicated, you're talking two different codes, IBC (or UBC for some) and IFC (or UFC for some). One is building, the other fire. Manufacture of alcoholic beverages is classified as F1 occupancy in the building code. The building code is concerned with the building requirements, the fire code with the process. That said, if your fire inspectors require anything extra, you should be able to accomplish it with a small control room inside your building for the collection of final distillate and blending. That would be a one hour fire wall room, they shouldn't require sprinklers. This is what was confirmed to me by an architect, engineer, building inspector and fire inspector where I am. That is not all the same person btw; too bad, because that would certainly be more convenient.

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