Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 9. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES [23000 - 25762]

  ( Division 9 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152. )

CHAPTER 3. Licenses and Fees [23300 - 23508]

  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152. )

ARTICLE 6. Craft Distiller’s Licenses [23500 - 23508]
  ( Article 6 added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 640, Sec. 2. )

23500.
  

This act shall be known, and may be referenced as, the Craft Distillers Act of 2015.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 640, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2016.)

23501.
  

The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The regulation and licensing of the sale of alcoholic beverages in this state has operated for over 80 years under what is commonly referred to as the “three-tier system,” which generally prohibits vertical integration within the distilled spirits industry. This system has helped in protecting against undue marketing influences within the distilled spirits industry and assisted the goals of promoting temperance and reasonable regulation of the sale of distilled spirits within the state. In addition, this system has helped create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic development within California.

(b) Small craft distillers have begun to operate in this state, and these craft distillers have begun to increase employment and provide jobs and economic development in various locations within the state.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this act, to encourage the development of the craft distilling industry within the state by enacting various limited exemptions to the general provisions of the three-tier system, while also continuing to uphold and support the three-tier system as the appropriate mechanism for regulating and licensing the sale of distilled spirits in California.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 640, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2016.)

23502.
  

(a) The department may issue a craft distiller’s license to a person that has facilities and equipment for the purposes of, and is engaged in, the commercial manufacture of distilled spirits. The craft distiller’s license authorizes the licensee to do all of the following:

(1) Manufacture distilled spirits. For purposes of this article, “manufacture” means the actual distillation of distilled spirits from naturally fermented materials or the redistillation of distilled spirits obtained from another manufacturer of distilled spirits.

(2) Produce distilled spirits. For purposes of this article, “produce” means to mix, color, flavor, or blend distilled spirits, whether manufactured by the licensee or by another manufacturer of distilled spirits.

(3) Only sell distilled spirits that are manufactured or produced by the licensee solely to a wholesaler, manufacturer, winegrower, manufacturer’s agent, or rectifier that holds a license authorizing the sale of distilled spirits or to persons that take delivery of those distilled spirits within this state for delivery or use without the state.

(4) Deal in warehouse receipts.

(5) Manufacture or produce up to 100,000 gallons of distilled spirits per fiscal year (July 1 through June 30), excluding brandy the craft distiller manufactures or has manufactured for them pursuant to a brandy manufacturer license, as reported to the department in the manner prescribed by the department for the fiscal year prior to the date of submitting an application for the license. At least 65 percent of the total volume of distilled spirits manufactured or produced shall be actually manufactured by the licensee. The volume of distilled spirits authorized by this paragraph shall be calculated by adding the volume of distilled spirits, less waste, drawn off the still with the volume of distilled spirits obtained by the licensee from any other source that is not redistilled by the licensee. For purposes of this paragraph, “volume” means the liquid volume and shall not be based on proof gallons or packaged goods.

(b) A craft distiller’s license shall not be issued to any person, any officer, director, employee, or agent of such person, or any person who is affiliated with, directly or indirectly, a person that manufactures or has manufactured for them more than 100,000 gallons of distilled spirits per year within or without the state, excluding brandy it manufactures or has manufactured for them pursuant to a brandy manufacturer license, or to any person that is affiliated with, directly or indirectly, a wholesaler.

(c) (1) The fee for an original craft distiller’s license issued pursuant to this section shall be consistent with the distilled spirits manufacturer’s license and shall be adjusted pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 23320.

(2) The annual license fee for a craft distiller’s license shall be consistent with the distilled spirits manufacturer’s license and shall be adjusted pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 23320.

(3) All moneys collected as fees pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Alcohol Beverage Control Fund as provided in Section 25761.

(d) A licensed craft distiller shall report to the department, at the time of renewal in the manner prescribed by the department, the amount of distilled spirits manufactured or produced by the licensee specifying, as applicable, the respective amounts of distilled spirits the licensed craft distiller has manufactured itself, obtained from another manufacturer of distilled spirits, and imported, excluding brandy manufactured by or for the licensee pursuant to a brandy manufacturer license, during the previous fiscal year. If the report to the department establishes that the licensee no longer qualifies to hold a craft distiller’s license because the licensee has either exceeded the 100,000 gallon manufacture or production limitation as specified in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) or actually manufactured less than 65 percent of the total volume of distilled spirits as specified in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a), the department shall renew the license as a distilled spirits manufacturer’s license.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 423, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2017.)

23504.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision, a licensed craft distiller may sell up to the equivalent of 2.25 liters in any combination of prepackaged containers per day per consumer of distilled spirits manufactured or produced by the licensee at its premises to a consumer attending an instructional tasting conducted by the licensee on its licensed premises pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 23363.1.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 423, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2017.)

23506.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this division, a licensed craft distiller or one or more of its direct or indirect subsidiaries of which the licensed craft distiller owns not less than a 51-percent interest, who manufactures or produces, bottles, processes, imports, or sells distilled spirits under a craft distiller’s license or any other license issued pursuant to this division, or any officer or director of, or any person holding any interest in, those persons may serve as an officer or director of, and may hold the ownership of any interest or any financial or representative relationship in, any on-sale license, or the business conducted under that license, provided that, except in the case of a holder of on-sale general licenses for airplanes and duplicate on-sale general licenses for air common carriers, all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The on-sale licensee purchases all alcoholic beverages sold and served only from California wholesale licensees.

(2) The number of distilled spirits items by brand offered for sale by the on-sale licensee that are manufactured, produced, bottled, processed, imported, or sold by the licensed craft distiller or by the subsidiary of which the licensed craft distiller owns not less than 51 percent, or by any officer or director of, or by any person holding any interest in, those persons does not exceed 15 percent of the total distilled spirits items by brand listed and offered for sale by the on-sale licensee selling and serving that distilled spirit. Notwithstanding paragraph (1), distilled spirits sold pursuant to this provision may be purchased from a California licensed craft distiller so long as the distilled spirits purchased are produced or bottled by, or produced and packaged for, the same licensed craft distiller that holds an interest in the on-sale license and such direct sales do not involve more than two on-sale licenses in which the licensed craft distiller or any person holding an interest in the licensed craft distiller holds any interest, directly or indirectly, either individually or in combination or together with each other in the aggregate.

(3) None of the persons specified in this section may have any of the interests specified in this section in more than two on-sale licenses.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this division, a licensee that has an interest in one or more on-sale retail licenses pursuant to this section may continue to hold that interest in the event the licensee no longer qualifies as a craft distiller, provided that the interest was held, or an application was pending, at a time when the licensee did hold a craft distiller’s license pursuant to Section 23502. Nothing in this subdivision is intended to prevent the department from denying a pending application for any reason other than the change in license of the licensee.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 423, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2017.)

23508.
  

(a) A licensed craft distiller may also have upon its licensed premises all beers, wines, and distilled spirits, regardless of source, for sale or service only to guests during private events or private functions not open to the general public. Alcoholic beverage products sold at the premises that are not manufactured or produced and bottled by, or manufactured or produced and packaged for, the licensed craft distiller shall be purchased by the licensed craft distiller only from a licensed wholesaler.

(b) A licensed craft distiller may sell all beers, wines, brandies, or distilled spirits to consumers for consumption on the premises in a bona fide eating place as defined in Section 23038, which is located on the licensed premises or on premises owned by the licensee that are contiguous licensed premises and which is operated by and for the licensee, provided that any alcoholic beverage products not manufactured or produced by the licensee must be purchased from a licensed wholesaler. Beer, wine, and brandy may be used in the preparation of food and beverages in the bona fide public eating place for consumption on the premises.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this division, in the event that the licensee no longer qualifies as a craft distiller due to the amount of distilled spirits reported pursuant to Section 23502, the licensee may continue to hold the privileges granted by this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 423, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2017.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC6.