The GO Signal: Crafting Alcoholic Beverages Through the Regulatory Funnel

The GO Signal: Crafting Alcoholic Beverages Through the Regulatory Funnel

Alcoholic beverages surely hold the promise of a great sensory delight, but crafting and distributing these involve a strict and detailed review process that seeks to ensure consumer health and commercial trade regulations are not compromised.

In the United States, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) is the federal body responsible for examining product formulas before they can successfully reach the market. It is important to note, however, that not all alcoholic beverages require approvals especially when the product already contains an alcohol-by-volume ABV that is within the right range regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Photo:  Raychel Brightman / Newsday RM via Getty Images

On the other hand, beverages with artificial additives for flavor and color usually undergo more tedious screening to determine if their non-conventional components still comply with safety standards set by the aforementioned approving party. Variations in labeling and tax charges are also dependent on the product's classification – whether it's a carbonated or a sparkling type.

Below is the checklist for TTB Beverage Formula Approval:

  • Full roster of ingredients  all organic and/or artificial components used
  • Manufacturing Procedure  a complete outline of steps in crafting the product
  • Batch-specific ABV (Alcohol By Volume) – clear indication of alcohol content for each batch, especially if it varies
  • Specification Sheet – a detailed list of coloring ingredients, juice concentrates, or extracts made in-house by the manufacturer
  • Flavor Ingredient Data Sheet – official documentation for flavors sourced from third-party producers AND pre-approved by TTB before inclusion in the formulas

Particularly for us at Very Good Manufacturing, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is the state regulatory authority that carefully assesses our product formulas before endorsing it to TTB.

After submission, the waiting time usually takes 4 to 23 business days depending on the formula's complexities and approval requirements. If the TTB or TABC deems it necessary for a sample laboratory analysis, the approval for production takes longer.

Once the formula passes the test, we are then given two identification codes directly linked to our Certificate of Label Approval (COLA). These codes are the Submission ID and the TTB Formula ID which remains effective for a decade. After a whole term, the formula must be resubmitted for approval, especially if it contains new ingredients and modified proportions, or even when there were no alterations at all.

Here are our few practices as a company to guarantee a smooth sailing application process.

While it is not an easy task to navigate through this intricate process, we  at Very Good Manufacturing – understand the importance of adhering to these standards and have implemented the best actions to streamline our systems and processes in acquiring the GO signal.

In an industry that sees alcohol manufacturing lines as a non-essential, it is therefore a lot more crucial for our formulas, packaging, and labeling procedures to be well-supported and proven ethical so that we can expedite exceptional products to the market with confidence.

To learn more about our initiatives and processes as a brand, feel free to connect with us through our Contact Page and we would love to discuss anything about your needs. Let's work together to bring innovative beverages to life!

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