February 2017 News: TTB Eases Regulations, Tenn. Raises ABV Limit, Wynwood Sells to CBA, and France Resumes Monastic Brewing

News by | Feb 2017 | Issue #121

TTB Eases Tax Regulations on Brewers

On January 1, modifications to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 will ease the amount of upfront cash brewers, distillers, and winemakers must pay to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for excise taxes and bonds. Breweries that pay less than $50,000 in annual taxes on beer (those under 7,143 barrels) will no longer be required to keep a bond filed with the TTB. Additionally, microbreweries that pay less than $1,000 in annual taxes on beer (those under 143 barrels) can now pay annually rather than quarterly.

Tennessee Raises ABV Limit to 10.1%

Taking effect January 1, 2017, a state bill passed in 2014 raises the legal limit for beer sold and produced in Tennessee from 5 percent alcohol by weight (6.2 percent ABV) to 8 percent alcohol by weight (10.1 percent ABV). The law also allows grocery and convenience stores to sell higher-alcohol beers.

Craft Brew Alliance Buys Stake in Miami’s Wynwood Brewing

Miami’s Wynwood Brewing Co. announced in December that it will sell a 24.5 percent minority stake to the publicly traded Craft Brew Alliance (CBA). The agreement includes outsourcing production of Wynwood’s two most popular beers, Pop’s Porter and La Rubia Blonde, to CBA’s Portsmouth, N.H., facility. The deal, which will be finalized early this year, follows CBA’s minority deals with Cisco Brewers in 2015 and Appalachian Mountain Brewery in 2014.

Monastic Brewing Returns to France

In early December, the Benedictine monks at the Abbey of Saint-Wandrille in Normandy released the first monastic beer produced in France since the 1930s. Described as a hoppy Pale Ale, the 6.5 percent ABV beer was brewed with four English hop varieties grown in France and packaged in 500-milliliter bottles. The abbey plans to produce 80,000 liters (about 682 barrels) of beer per year.

Correction: March 9, 2017
A previous version of this story erroneously stated only higher-alcohol beers produced in Tennessee could now be sold in grocery stores, when in fact there is no in-state distinction.