Silly Laws

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau LogoThey’re Not Bad Guys, Just Misinformed

There are lots of silly laws out there. Lists and lists of them. Whole websites devoted to them! Unfortunately, they’re almost universally made up. These laws about giraffes and barbers and women drivers are incorrect at best and hoaxes at worst.

So, let us present to you a dumb law with a citation:
27 CFR 4.72 All wine bottles shall be so filled as to contain the quantity of wine specified in one of the standards of fill prescribed as:

  • 3 liters. 
  • 1.5 liters. 
  • 1 liter. 
  • 750 milliliters. 
  • 500 milliliters. 
  • 375 milliliters. 
  • 187 milliliters. 
  • 100 milliliters. 
  • 50 milliliters.

This law was created almost 100 years ago to protect consumers from duplicitous winemakers and is now being applied to all meaderies in the US. Saké got an exemption. Beer was never included. Mead, well, they just don’t know what to do with us.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means that we’re not allowed to sell Valkyrie’s choice in 12 oz. beer bottles (except in Vermont) or 16 oz. cans, basically the only options available to us. So, all of our out of state fans waiting with bated breath for the exquisitely smooth, unparalleled Valkyrie’s Choice… keep that breath bated. We’re working on it.

You see, this law makes no sense. To prove that it makes no sense, consider this: the Federal Government of the US decided that three of our products – Mannaz, Fenberry Draught, and the soon-to-be-released Chaos Cyser – don’t have to follow the rule. The only one that the law applies to is our fan-favorite, Valkyrie’s Choice.

The idea was to standardize the fills so consumers would know what they were buying. Raise your hand if you could pick out a 187 milliliter bottle in a line-up.

OK, now raise your hand if you could recognize a beer bottle. (Don’t actually raise your hand, it makes you look like an idiot at work or wherever you’re reading this.)

So, that’s where we stand. We’ve been calling the TTB fill division to no avail to ask for a universal exemption: it’s not that they’ve denied us, they just haven’t answered the phone yet.

Are you a cidery? A meadery? A winemaker who thinks it’s crazy that grain alcohol can call itself a wine cooler, but you can’t package in a two-serving bottle? Give the TTB a call at 202-453-2265, and just mention that you’d like to see the standards of fill eliminated.

No joke, it might just be that easy.

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