For many wineries and breweries, there is a desire to expand into the related business category to offer a more well-rounded product menu to customers and to use existing infrastructure to generate additional revenue sources.
Did you know it is possible to alternate all or a portion of a federally licensed brewery premises for use as a winery (and vice versa)? For a licensed manufacturer (brewery or winery) to legally alternate premises between the two commodities:
- There must an area that is maintained as a permanent brewery premises and an area that is maintained as permanent winery premises.
- There is a requirement for physical segregation between the brewery and winery premises. The amount of segregation depends on the specifics of each situation, but items should not be able to fall, slide, or roll from one premises to the other.
- There will need to be a Consent of Surety for both the brewery and winery bond allowing for the expansion and contraction of premises for alternation.
- Records must be maintained showing which operation has control of the alternating area at any given time.
- The licensee will need a variance if they wish to be exempt from filing for approval each time they elect to alternate the area to the other commodity.
The federal permit can be filed via the TTB’s Permits Online for the fastest possible approval. The second filed application must note that the licensee will alternate an area with the brewery or winery and include a diagram showing the permanent brewery and winery areas, as well as the area being alternated. The description of the premises should detail the segregation and security that will be in place. Additionally, the applicant must also amend its current federal application (Brewer’s Notice) to show that they will alternate between the brewery and the winery and include the diagram and description in the same fashion.
The application will be processed by TTB’s National Revenue Center. You may contact them for additional information by phone at 1-877-882-3277 or by e-mail to WineryorBondedWine@TTB.Gov. Regulatory requirements for winery and brewery alternation are contained in 27 CFR 24.135 and 27 CFR 25.81.
The federal and state regulations can be a complex maze. An experienced liquor license attorney can help you assemble a compliant application that meets all of the requirements and gets you on your way to earning additional revenues with the new product lines.