TTB Updates Website And Offers Clarity for Ingredients and Processes Exempt from Formula Requirements under 27 CFR part 25

In a welcome move to
further clarify some of the processes and ingredients that do, and do not,
require brewers to seek formula approval (approval is necessary when you stray
from “traditional” brewing processes), the TTB recently updated the “Other Beer Resources” section of
their website
.  Rather than force you
to hunt for the information, we’ve reproduced it below. 

TTB Statutory Authority

Chapter 51 of the Internal Revenue Code of
1986 (IRC) provides the Secretary of the Treasury with authority to promulgate
regulations pertaining to the operation of breweries and the production of
beer. TTB administers these provisions pursuant to section 1111(d) of the
Homeland Security Act of 2002, codified at 6 U.S.C. 531(d), and the Secretary
has delegated various authorities through Treasury Department Order 120-01
(Revised), dated January 21, 2003, to the TTB Administrator to perform the
functions and duties in administration and enforcement of these laws.

Under the statutory authority of 26 U.S.C. 5401, 5415, 5555, and 7805(a), TTB prescribes regulations regarding the types of
processes and ingredients for which brewers may or may not need to submit
formulas.

TTB Regulations Regarding Formula Requirements Non-traditional processes:

TTB regulation 27 CFR 25.55 provides that a brewer must submit a formula
for approval by TTB when the brewer intends to produce any fermented product
that will be treated by any processing, filtration, or other method of
manufacture that is not generally recognized as a traditional process in the
production of a fermented beverage designated as “beer,”
“ale,” “porter,” “stout,” “lager,” or
“malt liquor.”

Examples provided in the regulations:

Brewers must file a formula for a
fermented product using any of the following non-traditional processes:

  • Removal
    of any volume of water from beer;
  • Filtration
    of beer to substantially change the color, flavor, or character;
  • Separation
    of beer into different components;
  • Reverse
    osmosis;
  • Concentration
    of beer; or
  • Ion
    exchange treatments.

Brewers are NOT required to submit
formulas for the following traditional processes:

  • Pasteurization;
  • Filtration
    prior to bottling;
  • Filtration
    in lieu of pasteurization;
  • Centrifuging
    for clarity;
  • Lagering;
  • Carbonation;
    or
  • Blending.

Additional Formula Requirements

Brewers must also file a formula for a
fermented product:

  • To
    which flavors or other nonbeverage ingredients (other than hops extract)
    containing alcohol will be added;
  • To
    which coloring or natural or artificial flavors will be added;
  • To
    which fruit, fruit juice, fruit concentrate, herbs, spices, honey, maple syrup,
    or other food materials will be added; or
  • That is
    designated as saké, including flavored saké and sparkling saké.

TTB Determinations Regarding Additional
Ingredients

and Processes That Do Not Require Formulas

Under 27 CFR § 25.55(f), TTB may determine
whether the use of a particular process not listed above requires the brewer to
file a formula for approval. TTB may also exempt the use of a particular
coloring, flavoring (other than flavorings containing alcohol), or food
material from the formula filing requirements.

Below are the ingredients and processes that
we have determined are not subject to the formula requirements of § 25.55.
Brewers may use the following ingredients and processes without submitting a
formula.

Requesting a TTB Determination Regarding a
Process or an Ingredient

Processes

A brewer may submit a request, asking TTB to
determine whether use of a process that is not already specified in the
regulations would require the filing of a formula for approval. When requesting
a determination regarding a process, the brewer must include:

  • A
    detailed description of the proposed process;
  • Evidence
    establishing that the proposed process is generally recognized as a traditional
    process in the production of a fermented beverage designated as
    “beer,” “ale,” “porter,” “stout,”
    “lager,” or “malt liquor,” and
  • An
    explanation of the effect of the proposed process on the production of a
    fermented product.

Brewers may submit requests to the Director,
Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau,
1310 G Street, NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005, or via email at Regulations@ttb.gov.

Ingredients

A brewer may submit a request, asking TTB to
exempt from the formula requirement a particular coloring, flavoring, or food
material for use in the production of beer. When requesting a determination
regarding a coloring, flavoring, or food material, the brewer must include:

  • A description
    of the proposed ingredient;
  • Evidence
    establishing that the proposed ingredient is generally recognized as a
    traditional ingredient in the production of a fermented beverage designated as
    “beer,” “ale,” “porter,” “stout,”
    “lager,” or “malt liquor,” and
  • An
    explanation of the effect of the proposed ingredient in the production of a
    fermented product.

Brewers may submit requests to the Director,
Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau,
1310 G Street, NW, Box 12, Washington, DC 20005, or via email at Regulations@ttb.gov. Please note that the
regulations do not authorize TTB to grant exemptions for the use of flavors or
other nonbeverage ingredients (other than hops extract) containing alcohol.

Publication of TTB Determinations

If TTB determines that the use of additional
ingredients or processes would not require the filing of a formula, the Bureau
will identify the ingredient or process, along with any relevant
qualifications, on this Web page.

Questions?

For more information on the particular
ingredients or processes brewers may use in the production of beer without
submitting formulas, contact the Advertising, Labeling and Formulation Division
at (866) 927-2533 or via email at ALFD@ttb.gov.

For more information on formula requirements,
see 27 CFR 25.55 to 25.58 or contact the Regulations and
Rulings Division at (202) 453-1039, Ext. 110 or BeerRegs@ttb.gov.