View Full Version : What tax designation does mead fall into?

02-20-2015, 08:17 PM
We had our annual Brewers Summit today and there was lots of talk about cidereries and how they are taxed and at what rate. It got me thinking about mead and where it falls into the whole TTB criteria. It doesn't appear to fit in wine since its not juice but thought someone around here might have a good read on that. I couldn't find anything on it on the TTB site when I searched. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity.

02-21-2015, 06:41 AM
It does in fact fit into wine: http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/24.203

02-21-2015, 01:56 PM
It is classified as a wine.

If you want it taxed as a beer you need to have hops in there.

02-21-2015, 05:47 PM
It is classified as a wine.

If you want it taxed as a beer you need to have hops in there.

(and grain/malt extract).

02-21-2015, 05:49 PM
(and grain/malt extract).

Details AnthonyB :)

02-24-2015, 08:58 AM
For tax, advertising and production mead definitely is classified as a wine at the federal level and almost certainly by every state.

Generally if you are using an ingredient that already contains fermentable sugars as the base for an alcoholic beverage then it is going to be classified as a wine. Honey certainly fits that description.

Generally if you are using a starch source that must be infused in water to create fermentable sugars then it is going to be classified as a beer and/or fermented malt beverage.

04-11-2015, 07:13 AM
Slightly off subject but still relevant...
We are trying to sublet a space at a proposed Meadery to start our brewery and there seems to be an issue with grain being in a meadery. Neither us nor the mead makers have our permits yet, so we were wondering if there was an angle for which to accomplish both in one building. The Idea is that we produce and store our products in separate areas of the building but share a common tap room. We have contacted the TTB and they flat out said "No", without hearing our situation.

04-11-2015, 05:50 PM
I have been told that if the alcohol is below 6% you don't need any malt or hops for it to be a brewery product? Am I wrong in this assumption?

04-11-2015, 10:21 PM
I have a brewery and a winery (actually making saké but in California it is classified as wine) in a 1200 foot warehouse and I had to subdivide my already tiny space and put a wall down the middle in order to get it permitted. And I have two tiny tasting rooms, one on the brewery premises for the beer tap room and one on the sake premises for the saké tasting room. Customers cannot take the beer to the saké side nor the saké to the beer side. Suite A has a California type 02 winegrowers license and suite B has a type 23 small beer manufacturer's license.

And to make it even more complicated, according to the TTB the saké is in fact a grain beverage (not an "agricultural wine" like mead) and I have to have a Brewers notice for it but also a simultaneously-applied-for winery Basic Permit because saké bottles follow wine label rules, not beer label rules.

04-16-2015, 10:28 AM
Thanks kuracali. We are setting up a call between us, the mead people and the TTB next week. I thought about having to divide the taproom... that with really suck since its our biggest area. We'll see what they say. Delaware doesn't know what Mead falls under so they were just going to consider it a brewery, but I'm sure that will change.