The number of U.S. wineries, breweries, and distilleries continued their growth in 2017 according to The Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Annual Report. The report showed that the TTB issued more than 8,100 permits and collected $21.8 billion in taxes, interest and other revenue for fiscal year 2017. Approximately 38%, or $8 billion of this revenue was received from alcohol.
Wineries: Permitted wineries have grown approximately 40% since 2013.Small wineries producing less than 250,000 gallons of wine per year have been fueling this growth. ‘
Breweries: Permitted breweries increased over 140% since 2013 recording the largest percent growth of the alcohol segment. This growth, like wine, is attributed to the small brewer segment or those producing less than 2 million barrels annually.
Distillers: The report showed that distillery growth has more than doubled with an 107% increase since 2013. Again, we see this growth being driver by small distillers defined as producers that “taxpaid less than 100,000 proof gallons annually.”
The report also reported that the TTB received 170,000 label applications and 14,500 formula applications; only a slight increase over 2016. TTB implemented policy changes starting in 2012 to help reduce the label and formula applications so this number is seen as a success. By exempting certain beverage products and expanding the number of changes a producer can make to a beverage label without a new approval they have curbed the increasing applications.
The TTB also noted in their report that they directed increased funding towards increasing trade practice enforcement. With this new funding the TTB has created an Office of Special Operations within their Trade Investigations Division. “With these additional resources, TTB intends to substantially increase the number of trade practice investigations and increase outreach to the regulated industry to prevent and address violations.” Prior to this new funding the TTB averaged 2 trade practice investigations per year. At the end of 2017 they had 11 active investigations pending.