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September 19, 2014


Greetings! We hope you had an easygoing and sociable week! This week's top stories include a reminder that only certain ingredients and processes are exempt from the beer formula requirement, a press release on the sentencing of a person convicted of failing to pay excise taxes on wine, a continuation of our "who we are and what we do" series, and a list of the past week's top Scientific Services Division pages at TTB.gov/.


In June, TTB published TTB Ruling 2014-4, Ingredients and Processes Used in the Production of Beer Not Subject to Formula Requirements, which exempted from the formula requirements of 27 CFR 25.55 malt beverages made with certain ingredients, such as honey, certain fruits, certain spices, and certain food ingredients, upon a finding that such ingredients are traditionally used in the production of beer.  TTB also determined that certain processes, such as aging beer in barrels that were previously used in the production or storage of wine or distilled spirits, do not require the filing of a formula.

In an attachment to the ruling, Exempt Ingredients and Processes Determined to be Traditional Under TTB Ruling 2014-4, which we refer to as Attachment 1, we list ingredients that are exempt from the formula requirements of the TTB regulations and those processes that we have determined to be traditional in the production of beer.  We encourage brewers to review Attachment 1 prior to submitting a formula to determine if a formula is required.  We also encourage brewers to review the other conditions outlined in the ruling for an exemption.

If brewers find that they have submitted a formula for which a formula is no longer required, they may withdraw their submission in Formulas Online and immediately submit an application for label approval (if label approval is required).

Given the current processing times for formulas and the current processing times for label approval, we strongly encourage brewers to become familiar with Attachment 1 in order to prevent unnecessary delays to getting your beer to market.

We want to also remind brewers that the use of any ingredient that requires a formula under 27 CFR 25.55 still requires a formula unless it is listed in Attachment 1.  For example, the use of a fruit that is not specifically exempted by the ruling will still require formula approval under 27 CFR 25.55.  Also, products that include at least one ingredient that still requires a formula must be covered by an approved formula, even if the product also includes several exempt ingredients.  Thus, a beer that is brewed with both pumpkin juice (which is exempt under the ruling) and pineapple juice (which is not exempt under the ruling), is subject to the formula requirement.

We invite brewers who believe that there are other ingredients that TTB should exempt from the formula requirements to petition TTB under 27 CFR 25.55(f) to request an exemption.

If you have questions about whether or not a formula is required, please contact the Advertising, Labeling and Formulation Division at either 202-453-2250 or toll free at 866-927-ALFD (2533) or by email at Submit an Online Inquiry.


On September 16, 2014, a judge sentenced 41-year-old Brenda Jo Kibbee of Salinas, CA, to nine months in prison for failure to pay federal excise tax on wine, and ordered her to pay $877,126.94 in restitution to TTB.

According to the September 17, 2014 press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, Kibbee was indicted on September 26, 2012, on 11 counts of failing to pay excise tax on wine. She pleaded guilty to one count.

TTB's Administrator for Field Operations Tom Crone said, "Tax evasion is not a victimless crime. Law-abiding businesses rely on us to ensure a level playing field. We take that responsibility seriously."


This is a continuation of our series on who we are and what we do.

Regulations and Rulings Division

The Regulations and Rulings Division (RRD) is part of Headquarters Operations. Its mission is to develop clear and concise regulations, policies, and procedures that implement TTB statutory responsibilities and to provide assistance, guidance, and foster voluntary compliance to our regulated industries.

What We Do

  • Develop and publish new and amended TTB regulations to implement laws.
  • Prepare and publish rulings, industry circulars, and other material concerning legal activities of the regulated industries.
  • Address internal and external requests for advice and formulate policy positions on the interpretation and application of laws and regulations.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures for processing TTB directives and publications.
  • Respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act of 1974.
  • Prescribe forms for use under the TTB regulations.
  • Prepare information collection approval submissions under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

For more information about RRD, contact us at 202-453-2265, or by email at Regulations@ttb.gov/.

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