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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

April 6, 2018


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! This week's top news includes three reminders for brewers about TTB formula requirements, updates to COLAs Online, new changes that may be made to alcohol beverage labels without getting a new COLA, and four recently published rulemaking documents on American viticultural areas.

BREWERS REMINDED OF THREE BASIC FORMULA RULES

1. Formula Approval is Required When Using Nontraditional Ingredients

The regulations at 27 CFR 25.55(a) state that, subject to certain exceptions, brewers must submit a formula for any fermented product to which certain ingredients, including flavors, herbs, and spices, will be added. TTB Ruling 2015-1, Attachment 1 lists ingredients and processes that are exempt from formula requirements because TTB has determined that they are traditionally used in the production of fermented beverages designated as "beer," "ale," "porter," "stout," "lager," or "malt liquor." If you are using an ingredient that requires a formula under 27 CFR 25.55(a) and it has not been exempted by TTB as a "traditional" ingredient, you must submit a formula.

2. Formula Must Be Obtained Before Production Begins

Subject to limited exceptions, the regulations at 27 CFR 25.55(c) provide that "you may not produce a fermented product for which a formula is required until you have filed and received approval of a formula for that product." Thus, formula approval must be obtained prior to initiating production.

3. Formula Requirements Apply Regardless of Interstate Sale

While the TTB regulations in 27 CFR part 7 do not require a brewer to obtain a certificate of label approval for a domestically bottled malt beverage that will be sold exclusively in the State in which it was bottled, the formula approval requirements found in 27 CFR part 25 apply to all beer produced by a brewer, regardless of whether the product will be sold in intrastate or interstate commerce.

Additional Resources on TTB.gov

Alcohol Beverage Formula Approval

Which Beers/Malt Beverages Require Formula Approval?

Formulas Online

COLAS ONLINE 4.3 IS HERE!

This latest release of COLAs Online adds some new features to make it easier to apply for alcohol beverage label approval:

  • a character countdown feature in certain fields
  • a session timeout warning
  • guidance on what a fanciful name is when you need to enter one
  • and more helpful enhancements

We've also enhanced the Public COLA Registry by adding "Origin" and "Class/Type" details in the search results.
For more information check out What's New in COLAs Online 4.3 (PDF).

EXPANSION OF ALLOWABLE CHANGES TO APPROVED ALCOHOL BEVERAGE LABELS

We recently published Industry Circular 2018-2 which adds three additional changes that may be made to a previously approved alcohol beverage label without submitting a new application for label approval. We will add these new provisions (as Items 35-37) to TTB Form 5100.31 (the COLA form) the next time we revise it.

In addition, we added two statements to the allowable instructional statements about how best to consume or serve the product, currently listed as Item 34 of the allowable changes on the COLA form. We are also clarifying, in Item 34, that the instructional statements may be added, deleted, or changed between approved statements.

Read Industry Circular 2018-2 for detail on the new allowable revisions.

Visit our Allowable Revisions page to view the full list of changes that may be made to previously approved labels.

TTB ESTABLISHES THE CAPE MAY PENINSULA AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREA

On Friday, April 6, 2018, we published T.D. TTB–150 in the Federal Register to establish the 126,635-acre "Cape May Peninsula" American viticultural area in Cape May and Cumberland Counties in New Jersey, effective on May 7, 2018. The Cape May Peninsula viticultural area is located entirely within the established Outer Coastal Plain viticultural area.

TTB issued this regulation in response to a petition submitted by a local wine industry member on behalf of the ad hoc Cape May Wine Growers Association. 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.

See Docket No. TTB–2016–0007 at Regulations.gov for all documents and public comments related to this rulemaking.

Read the press release.

TTB PROPOSES TO EXPAND TWO EXISTING AVAS, ESTABLISH ONE NEW AVA, AND TO CLARIFY THE BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION OF AN EXISTING AVA

We are accepting comments through June 5, 2018, on three notices of proposed rulemaking concerning American viticultural areas (AVAs), which published in the Federal Register on Friday, April 6, 2018:

We are making these three proposals in response to petitions filed on behalf of local wine industry members.  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.

A link to each Regulations.gov docket is posted at our Wine—Notices of Proposed Rulemaking page at TTB.gov under the appropriate Notice number.

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