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June 26, 2020


Greetings! This week’s top news includes information about our policy on beer growlers and crowlers, the AVA proposal for Tehachapi Mountains, a new way for tobacco companies to pay Special Occupational Tax (SOT) online, and a call for qualified candidates for the TTB Director, Application Services position.


In response to some recent questions from the brewing industry about TTB policy on growlers and crowlers, we’re sharing some highlights of the policy.

For the full details on our growler policy, see FAQ B9.

Determine the container type:

  • A growler/crowler is a large serving glass when a consumer uses the container to make a purchase and the brewer then fills the container.
    • Consumers may furnish their own growler or may purchase it from the brewer.
  • A growler/crowler is a bottle and requires labeling when the brewer fills the container in advance of sale.
    • The brewer may fill the growler/crowler prior to removal, on the brewery premises, or after tax determination on the brewpub premises.

Labeling Requirements:

  • If a serving glass:
    • Not subject to federal labeling requirements.
    • Some states may consider this bottling activity and regulate accordingly - brewers should check with state authorities.
  • If a bottle:
    • Subject to the federal labeling requirements of 27 CFR part 16 (health warning) and part 25.
    • If only sold in the state where the brewery is located, the labeling/COLA requirements of 27 CFR part 7 may apply – brewers should check with state authorities.
    • If sold in interstate commerce, the brewer is required to obtain a COLA under the same circumstances that apply when they are selling packaged malt beverages in that state.


We are accepting comments through August 25, 2020, on Notice No. 191, Proposed Establishment of the Tehachapi Mountains Viticultural Area, which was published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 26, 2020.  The proposed 58,000-acre Tehachapi Mountains American viticultural area (AVA) is located in Kern County, California, and it is not located within any established viticultural area.

We are making this proposal in response to a petition filed on behalf of the local grape growers and winemakers.  We designate viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

You may submit comments electronically on this proposal and view copies of the proposed rule, selected supporting materials, and any comments we receive about this proposal at within Docket No. TTB–2020–0006.  A link to that docket is posted at our Wine – Notices of Proposed Rulemaking page under Notice No. 191. You also may view the proposed boundaries on our AVA Map Explorer.


Just in time for the July 1 due date, we’ve launched online filing for Special Occupational Tax (SOT) using our existing Permits Online system. You can now do it all online and avoid mailing paper forms and checks.

Special Occupational Tax for the period July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, is due on or before this July 1.

Read more about SOT and how to file online.


We’re looking for qualified applicants to fill the position of Assistant Director, Application Services at our National Revenue Center located in Cincinnati, Ohio. This position oversees all aspects of our alcohol and tobacco industry permitting processes.


Assistant Director, Application Services


Cincinnati, Ohio

Pay Scale & Grade

GS 14 - 15


$112,084 to $170,800 per year

Application Deadline

July 8

For more details, view the vacancy announcement: 20-TTB-35-P.



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