Growth and Your Brewer’s Notice and NY Brewer’s License

December 29th, 2014 • by Wanda Wuest

Wanda Wuest

Wanda Wuest is a professional specialist who focuses on all areas of federal and state beverage alcohol regulations. She assists foreign and U.S.-based clients at all levels of the industry, including on and off-premise retailers, wholesalers and suppliers.

Congratulations! Your craft brewery is doing well and you are poised for growth!  It is important to remember, however, that growth entails change and both TTB and the NY State Liquor Authority require that changes to any of the information contained in your original Brewer’s Notice and state license application be reported and, in many cases, prior approval for the change is required.  Changes may involve organizational changes to your corporation or LLC, changes to the brewery premises or changes in method of operation.  Following are examples of changes that must be reported and/or approved in advance.

Organizational:  You might want to raise funds for expansion by taking in new investors as “partners” in the brewery, for example.  That would need to be reported and, depending on how the new interest is structured, the new “partners” may need to complete personal questionnaires and be fingerprinted.  Any changes in officers, directors, members, stock or interest distribution must be reported and approved.  It is important to keep in mind that all new “partners” are subject to the same eligibility qualifications as the original principals, not the least of which is not having any interest in any type of retail license in New York State or anywhere.  That applies to all the principals of any holding company in the chain of ownership as well as to the principals of the licensed entity.

It is also necessary to report any new trade names to be used with for operational purposes or for labeling purposes.

Premises:  Of course, you need prior approval to move your brewery.  You also need approval, however, to enlarge or decrease the size of the licensed premises , to add or relocate any windows or doors or make any physical changes, including addition of major equipment, that materially affect the character of the premises or physical structure that existed at the time of licensing.

Most changes are handled via an Amended Brewer’s Notice for TTB.  New York has a variety of applications forms to be used for different types of changes, including Application for Approval of Corporate Change, Application for Endorsement Certificate, Application for Permission to Make Alterations and Request to Change Method of Operation.

As your business grows, remember that you must keep the information on file with TTB and the State Liquor Authority current and updated to remain in compliance with the law.