Category: State & Federal Beverage Licenses/Permits

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OLCC Proposes New Rules for Food Carts

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is undertaking rulemaking that would impose new regulations on the service of alcohol at food carts and other outdoor areas throughout the state. The rules would distinguish between outdoor areas not abutting a licensed building (e.g., areas associated with food carts and food cart pods) and outdoor areas connected … Continue Reading

Federal Officials Mull Changes to Alcohol Label Approval Process

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) official Susan Evans, the Executive Liaison for State and Industry Matters, talked about ways to streamline the federal label approval process at the June 2013 National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA) that I attended in Honolulu. Speaking on a panel, she said that the TTB has experienced … Continue Reading

Sales Limit Increase Could Give Washington State Craft Distilleries More Momentum in the Retail Market

This week, a bill passed the Washington legislature that will allow a craft distillery to sell more of its product to customers visiting its distillery. House Bill 1149 has been sent to Governor Inslee to sign in to law, amending RCW 66.24.145 to allow a craft distillery to sell a maximum of three liters of spirits … Continue Reading

As Wine Industry Evolves, Local Regulation Remains King

Litigation concerning the direct shipment of wine has garnered a significant amount of attention in the years since the United States Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Granholm v. Heald. Generally speaking, these disputes have played out in the federal courts, far removed from the typical family winery. Although direct shipment will remain an important issue … Continue Reading

Upcoming Comment Deadline and Public Hearing on Washington State Liquor Control Board’s Administrative Code Amendments to Implement Initiative 1183

Stephanie Meier and Elaine Albrich The Washington State Liquor Control Board is proposing additional code amendments to further implement Ballot Initiative 1183. The WSLCB encourages public input and requests that initial comments be received by June 27, 2012. A public hearing will be held on the draft code amendments Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 10 am. … Continue Reading

TTB Publishes Notice of Rulemaking for Inwood Valley AVA

On December 5, 2011, the TTB published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice No. 125) regarding the establishment of the Inwood Valley Viticultural Area in Shasta, California. If established, the new AVA would consist of a 28,000 acre area, the vast majority of which is currently not dedicated to, or known for, vineyards. The TTB … Continue Reading

TTB Rules to Expand Sonoma AVAs

On Wednesday November 16, the TTB published a ruling (T.D. TTB-97, available here) amending the federal definition of the Russian River Valley viticultural area and the Northern Sonoma viticultural area, by expanding each. The action first began in August of 2008 when Gallo Family Vineyards submitted a petition for the amendment. After receiving numerous comments both … Continue Reading

TTB Adopts New, Softer Rules for AVAs

 The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has, in a final rule/treasury decision (available here), issued new and revised regulations with respect to three formerly confusing areas pertaining to American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): brand names that conflict with AVA designations, the AVA application process, and the existence of smaller AVAs inside currently existing … Continue Reading

Conjunctive Labeling Comes to Sonoma County

               With the turn of the calendar and after nearly a year of political wrangling, conjunctive labeling will be the norm for Sonoma County wineries beginning in 2014. Passed by unanimous vote in both the state assembly and senate in August and signed by Governor Schwartzenegger at the end of September, AB 1798 will require … Continue Reading

New California Law Streamlines Instructional Tasting Licenses

          On the list of California laws affecting the wine industry in the New Year is AB 605 – the Instructional Tasting Events License. Introduced in 2009 and signed into law September 23, 2010, AB 605 adds to the Business and Professions Code sections 23396.6 and 25503.56. The additions allow the ABC to issue a … Continue Reading

Oregon Temporarily Bans “Alcopop”

Following actions by the FDA, the TTB, as well as several states, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) recently announced a temporary ban on the sale of caffeinated alcoholic beverages within the state’s borders. The action, taken during a November 20th special meeting on the issue, will last until May 18, 2011, during which time … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Warning Letters to Manufacturers of Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages

In an update to an earlier blog post, the FDA issued warning letters today to four manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages. The FDA stated in the letters that caffeine added to malt alcoholic beverages was an “unsafe food additive ” and thus, such products are in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FFDCA”). … Continue Reading

FDA May Issue Warning on Alcoholic Energy Drinks; States Move to Ban “Blackout in a Can”

Amidst rising incidences of hospitalizations in college and teenage drinkers linked to consumption of alcoholic energy drinks, the Washington State Liquor Control Board banned their sale effective tomorrow, November 18, 2010. The move came on the heels of a request by Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, whose office stated in a November 10 press release that they were “…particularly … Continue Reading

Bernie Kipp at Great American Distiller’s Festival

Craft distillers from coast to coast attended the 6th Annual Great American Distiller’s Festival (GADF) on October 23 and 24, 2010 at the Tiffany Center in NW Portland. 38 separate distilleries poured more than 70 gins, vodkas, whiskey’s and rums in a celebration of all things “spirited.” Special events included seminars for distillers and tours of Portland distilleries. Seminar presenters … Continue Reading

Audit Supports More Liquor Permits for Utah

A recent legislative audit made several strong recommendations for reforming Utah’s liquor  laws, in particular the quota system for granting alcohol permits. The audit echoes reports that the current shortage of alcohol permits is stifling economic development and does not reflect the state’s changing population. Utah is in the small minority of control states that grant liquor … Continue Reading

Variations of Organic Labeling

Figuring out what information must be on your wine label can be tedious.  Adding terms like "organic" or "sustainably-grown" can be even more challenging.  Extra steps are required for adding organic certifications or claims to a wine label, although the regulation of such claims under the TTB COLA process has been made more clear with the Memorandum … Continue Reading

Oregon Homebrewers Stymied by New Interpretation of Law

By Guest Blogger, Summer Associate The Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Oregon Department of Justice recently opined that, under a post-prohibition-era law, homebrewed beer and homemade wine must be consumed at home. This opinion, reportedly in response to a question regarding the permissibility of public competitions involving homebrewed beer, is in effect a reversal … Continue Reading
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