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Boutique distilleries in the USA

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  • Peggy Korth
    The TTB expanded their staff after the influx of distillers for alcohol fuel. Most of the staff are X-military men and quote policy like reading a manual. They
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 2, 2013
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      The TTB expanded their staff after the influx of distillers for alcohol fuel.  Most of the staff are X-military men and quote policy like reading a manual.  They tend the applications in the order received and I found the officers very nice and helpful.  Make notes during your telephone interview.  They do!  It took me 3 days to get my fuel distilling permit after it was received because I am research oriented and I made a supporter of the TTB officer.  The distiller is required to get approval for the distilling site from the local fire marshal.  The fire safety precautions relate to the expected proof gallons to be produced.  Otherwise, I would have had approval for my alcohol fuel permit the day of my interview.

      And yes, I do understand that there is a big difference in beverage and non-beverage production.  The bureau expects revenue from beverage distillers and Congressional preference for distilling alcohol for non-beverage use is a big plus.  I guess what I am trying to say, is that I like the way the TTB worked for me--non-beverage.  Surely, there are officers there that can give you better ideas on how to make a start.  A chat can be personal and friendly.  I gave a passionate one-minute elevator speech and it piqued the officer's imagination to be helpful.  Just be really nice and they could be nice back.  Also, they helped me to request variances from their Washington DC policy headquarters.  But that took about 4 months.  You could start a campaign to work through the policy division.  If they get a few dozen letters, they should take notice.

      Joyous Reflection and Best wishes,


      I contacted the TTB.  They told me that I would need a $15,000 surety bond and a $1,000 transport bond, but I have no idea how much they cost.  I contacted a bond broker, but he never responded to my request.  If you go to the TTB web site it states that if you mail in your application it will take an average of 87 days for approval if you made no errors, or they request  further information.  If you send your application electronically, it stated the average process time is 67 days.  Who did you payoff to get your permit in a month?  I know a lot of people who make cheese and baked goods in their kitchen after it was inspected by the New York State Heath Department.  You overlooked NYS ABC because they have their hand out as well.  TTB website was not clear on how detailed they wanted those formulas to be, but the labels are very specific on the information you must provide.  If the TTB says something, I would tend to believe them, and I don't see where there is any exaggeration in anything that was stated in my message.


      From: Elm Brook <elmbrook@...>
      To: "Distillers@yahoogroups.com" <Distillers@yahoogroups.com>
      Cc: "Distillers@yahoogroups.com" <Distillers@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 5:21 PM
      Subject: Re: [Distillers] Re: Boutique distilleries in London

      Robert, I don't often bother responding to specific posts but I must say that for me much of what you write is inaccurate.  Let's start with a surety bond - a $15,000 bond can be purchased for several hundred dollars a year.  Formulas are as simple as informing the TTB what you use to make your spirit.  Yes you need a separate building but you need a separate building for lots products consumers buy such as cheese, milk and cookies etc. As for the time to get the permit - it took me about a month from application to permit.  I don't know where the thousands of dollars you talk about but the only fees I paid were the couple hundred bucks for the surety bond.  Now could the whole permit process be easier - yes it could but please don't exagegerate.  The biggest hurdle to a commercial distiller is the ability to make a great product that consumers will want to buy.  The Feds just want to know that you're paying your taxes and that you know what you're doing.  Here's our family's farm web site.  It talks about our small artisan distillery on our farm:  elmbrookfarm.com   I hope you find this post useful.

      Sent from my iPad

      On Jan 1, 2013, at 2:50 PM, RLB <last2blast@...> wrote:

      The Unites States does not make it easy to become an artisan distiller, unless you can fork over many thousands of dollars.  Besides the surety ($15,000 minimum) bond and transportation bond ($1,000 minimum), you have to deal with each state who require expensive licenses.  You have to have a separate building and warehouse other than your home.  You must provide them with your formula(s), and bottle label(s), a complete list of your equipment, and you must keep detailed records.  You must then wait at least 3 months to be approved if they do not require an inspection or change in your application.  THIS IS ALL BEFORE YOU CAN LEGALLY PRODUCE ONE DROP OF ETHANOL, and they wonder why there are still so many active moonshines.    We can't even experiment distill without forking over many thousands of dollars.  Most bio-fuel plants will cost you around $500,000 before you produce a drop of Ethanol.  Yes, my Ethanol sample experiments are totally illegal, but I would love to take this government sponsored monopoly to our highest court.  We can make beer and wine legally in our home, but its illegal to make Home brew, wort, or wash for the expressed purpose of distilling.  The US seems more interested in preventing artisan distillers rather than promoting them by making it easier for new artisan distillers to enter this field.  By suppressing new artisan distillers, the US is missing out on a large untapped tax revenue source.

      It is imperative that the US needs to change its laws to promote more small artisan distillers.


      From: waljaco <waljaco@...>
      To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 9:24 AM
      Subject: [Distillers] Re: Boutique distilleries in London

      More distilleries -



      --- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "waljaco" <waljaco@...> wrote:
      > A revival after some 200 years!
      > http://www.sipsmith.com
      > wal

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