Switching From Beer to Cider and Back

With a new generation of consumers entering the fray, research suggests that they are more wine or spirit drinkers or even focusing on more healthier drink options. Breweries are finding ways to be diverse in helping generate new dollars.

Some breweries have turned to distilling, while others have begun to focus on adding ciders to their portfolio.

Adam Armstrong and Kevin Connell of the Ohio Beer Counsel shared with brewers statewide recently on how to go about setting up alternating proprietorship to handle the process of a brewery that wants to go from brewing just beer to adding cider as well.

“We are starting to see both established [breweries] and those trying to open view cider as a option,” Connell said to the group. He added that there is a potential for craft spirits to grow in the near and midterm in volume and volume of sales.

“That’s just market trend data,” he said. “You have to look to the future to protect your brand and your company.”

​Armstrong said as with everything​,​ there are regulations to follow.

​Since ​​cider is a wine in federal regulations​, ​a brewery would need a second permit. So a brewery would need to ​amend ​its ​Brewers Notice to request permission to alternate premises, which means submitting drawings ​to show what areas of ​the ​brewery will alternate as ​a ​winery premises​ along with ​which areas are just ​a ​brewery​ and​ which areas are just ​for the ​winery.​ The drawings ​must “clearly depict all areas, buildings, floors, rooms, equipment and pipelines which are to be subject to alternation in their relative operating sequence.”​​ A federal basic permit to produce the alternating premises with the same drawings will also be needed.

After approval, ​a ​brewer​y​ can ​alter the designated premises​, but must do so each time a change is made with a “letterhead notice​.​”

Once a brewery does start to produce and sell ciders, it needs to be aware that it must remove all beer on the “brewery premise” to be alternated to bonded or tax paid wine premises, or vice versa.

​”The TTB want​s​ to protect their revenue,​” Armstrong noted.

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