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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

January 9, 2015


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! We hope you had a warm and untroubled week! This week's top stories include announcements about new FDA guidance on labeling certain beers not subject to the FAA Act, a press release for a new AVA final rule, additional grape varieties granted administrative approval, plus a list of the past week's top Wine pages at TTB.gov/.

FDA ISSUES FINAL GUIDANCE ON LABELING OF CERTAIN BEERS

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition - Constituent Update

December 22, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing final guidance to help manufacturers in labeling bottled or otherwise packaged beers that are subject to FDA's labeling laws and regulations. The final guidance, which was issued in draft form in August 2009, follows a 2008 ruling by the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau [sic] (TTB) clarifying that certain beers that do not meet the definition of "malt beverages" are not subject to the labeling provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. Specifically, this refers to beers that are not made from both malted barley and hops but are instead made from substitutes for malted barley (such as sorghum, rice or wheat) or are made without hops. These beers are subject to the food labeling provisions of FDA laws and regulations.

The guidance explains the requirements for such beers. As with other FDA regulated foods, mandatory information required on the labels of these non-malt beers include, among other things, a listing of ingredients in the product, a Nutrition Facts label, and the name of the source of any major food allergen present in the product. The guidance also clarifies that other requirements, such as the Government Health Warning Statement under the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act, continue to apply to these products.

As described in the 2009 draft guidance, FDA recognized that manufacturers of the beers covered by the TTB Ruling may need time to change their labels to comply with FDA's applicable laws and regulations. FDA exercised enforcement discretion and allowed manufacturers until January 1, 2012 to revise the labels on their non-malt beverage beers. FDA expects that all labels for these products now comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

TTB EXPANDS THE FAIR PLAY VITICULTURAL AREA

We published a final rule in the January 6, 2015 Federal Register expanding the existing 33-square mile Fair Play American viticultural area, located in El Dorado County, California, by approximately 2 square miles. The expanded Fair Play viticultural area is located entirely within the El Dorado viticultural area, which, in turn, is within the multi-county Sierra Foothills viticultural area. This final rule will be effective on February 5, 2015.

ADDITIONAL GRAPE VARIETIES APPROVED FOR DESIGNATING AMERICAN WINE

We recently granted administrative approval for the use of five new grape variety names on American wine labels: By George, Petite Pearl, Plymouth, Southern Cross, and Valjohn.

Wine bottlers may use these names, as well as others granted administrative approval, to label American wines pending the results of our next rulemaking to revise the list found in 27 CFR 4.91 of grape variety names approved for use in designating American wines.

Visit our American Grape Variety Names page at TTB.gov/ for additional information about the regulation of grape variety names.

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