Eliot Knows Archives

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Prohibition Agent Eliot Ness knows all there is to know about TTB and the regulated industries. Take a look below to see his answers to popular questions.


“I want to brew beer for sale. What do I need to do to qualify as a brewer?”

So you’re thinking about brewing beer for sale and you ask yourself, “Hmmm… What do I need to do to get qualified as a brewer?”

Good question! If you intend to make beer for other than family or personal use, TTB must approve your operations.  To qualify as a brewer you must first qualify with TTB by submitting a Brewer’s Notice.

We here at TTB will usually complete our screening and processing within 95 days of receipt of a completed, acceptable Brewers Notice packet which you can find online at TTB.gov’s Informational and Applications Packets page under Alcohol Producers and Manufacturers.

And… there is no application fee!

Some of the specific functions TTB is responsible for as related to beer brewing include:

However, the brewing industry is not only subject to Federal regulations.  Thanks to the 21st Amendment, the regulation of alcohol is predominantly left to the States, and each State has created its own unique system of alcohol beverage control (see Alcohol Beverage Control Boards).  These State laws and regulations, which vary widely from State to State, may be more restrictive than Federal regulations and must be met in addition to Federal requirements unless the Federal law pre-empts the State law wherein a brewer desires to do business.

You should also check with your city and county for local ordinances, or for additional requirements.

The following directory provides the contact information for each State agency and a link to their Web site.  Please contact those States directly for more information.

A | C | D | F | G | H | I | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W

Finally, we are working on a handy “Brewer’s Notice Tutorial” that we will post at TTB.gov, so stay tuned!

For more tools and materials to assist you in your endeavors within the beer industry, from the laws and regulations to the nuts and bolts of starting up a brewery - and everything in between—visit TTB.gov’s Beer pages.


Visit the Eliot Knows Archives to see other popular questions and answers.

Page last reviewed/updated: 10/20/2011