Huge Regulatory “Win” for Craft Brewers

In a big win for craft brewers, the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has added over 30 new ingredients that will now be exempt from formula requirements.  A new list of fruits, spices and other ingredients commonly used by craft brewers will no longer require a formula submission as part of the application process in receiving a certificate of label approval (COLA).

Also exempted are wood barrels that were previously used for wine or spirits.


The Brewers Association announced the changes today. “The process that led up to this ruling started over 8 long years ago. The Brewers Association, with significant assistance from Marc Sorini at McDermott Will & Emery, originally petitioned for these formula exemptions in May 2006,” said the BA in a statement. “In December 2007, TTB exempted just a few of the requests, such as use of new barrels, use of new wood chips, brown sugar and candi sugar. As the craft industry and common use of more of these ingredients grew, and TTB resources shrank with smaller government, and so many COLA and formula submissions inundated TTB headquarters, TTB re-examined the BA’s petition and approved the new exemption. I see this ruling as a huge victory for craft brewers and a greater alignment of a key regulatory agency with common sense and a willingness to be open to change.”

A list of exempt ingredients is here.

The full ruling is here.