In a recent legal advisory opinion, the Pa.L.C.B. further clarified what a brewery can and cannot do at its storage locations. Previously, in another blog post, we detailed the ability of a brewery to sell its products for on and off-premises consumption, as well as other products such as PA produced beer, cider, wine, and spirits.
In its latest opinion on the topic, the Pa.L.C.B. analyzed whether a brewery can manufacture beer at its storage locations, and, specifically, what constitutes the manufacturing of beer. First, the Pa.L.C.B. stated that a brewery is not permitted to manufacture from its storage locations, and may use its storage locations only “to receive, store, repackage, sell and distribute malt or brewed beverages.” As to whether the brewery could transport unfermented wort to its storage location and put it in a fermentation vessel to begin the fermentation process, the Pa.L.C.B. stated that the fermentation of wort must begin at the brewery’s manufacturing location in order for it to be permissible to transport the wort to the storage location. Addressing whether a brewery could take fermented malt or brewed beverages to a storage location to be transferred into wooden barrels for aging, the Pa.L.C.B. answered in the affirmative. It reiterated that so long as the fermentation started at the manufacturing location, it would be permissible to transport fermented wort and malt or brewed beverages to a storage location for storage, repackaging, sales, and distribution. Barrel aging and additional fermentation can continue at the storage location.
Breweries should be aware that this advice might conflict with the federal regulations governing the production of beer. Although there are options of what a brewery can do, if you plan to continue the fermentation process or barrel age your beer at a storage location, your plan might conflict with your permit from the TTB. Although it is great that a brewery’s privileges under its Pennsylvania brewery license are expanding, you must always take a careful look to see how these privileges apply to federal laws. This is because the Pa.L.C.B. and the Legislature are concerned only with Pennsylvania laws, which frequently conflict with federal laws. You would likely want to add your storage location to your TTB permit.