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Thread: California micro-distill laws/regs ?

  1. #1

    Default California micro-distill laws/regs ?

    Anyone up on California/San Mateo County laws regs regarding micro operations? I'm currently interested in starting out as a blender (neutral spirits infused w/ spices, aromatics, etc). Quite simply my goal is to supply a local restaurant/bar w/ my product (I guess the jargon would be a liquor or liqueur & not a beer or wine). I don't have a recipe yet so I'll need to (or at this point think I'll need to) do the hands-on tinkering by myself (as oppossed to outsourcing. I'd certainly be willing however to work w/ a small contract distiller who's already up and running though).

    A pointer to the actual CA code probably won't be too helpful but an analysis in layman's terms certainly would. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Someone may correct me, but I think it is illegal to distill spirits without a license.

  3. #3


    I don't want to distill (yet) - I want to be able to acquire "polished ethanol" (which to my understanding isn't available off-the-retail-shelf in CA) and sell my infused-alcohol-product (? 40%ABV) to a restaraunt/bar.

    I can buy a brewkit for making beer at home. It would seem just about anyone can open/operate a winery with minimal hassle/licensing. What's it take to get to the next level?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamadan View Post
    Someone may correct me, but I think it is illegal to distill spirits without a license.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default California micro-distill laws/regs ?

    To sell distilled products, one needs to be licensed both at the State and Federal levels.

    There are only two distilleries in Texas due to the difficulty in obtaining the license and the strict record keeping requirements and the extreme penalties involved in not following the rules.

    I have no idea what the rules and regs are in California, but the federal license is issued through the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms), I think.


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