Small Beer Manufacturers Soon May Produce Cider or Perry Under a Type 23 License
This Industry Advisory describes the privileges enacted by SB 788 (Ashby, Chapter 114, Statutes of 2023).
Disclaimer: Industry advisories are not regulatory, nor do they have the force of law. These advisories merely provide information about a statute or regulation. Please consult the statute, regulation, and/or an attorney before taking any action to ensure compliance with the law.
Beginning January 1, 2024, all licensed beer manufacturers (meaning Type 1 and Type 23 Licenses) will be authorized to produce cider or perry under their beer manufacturer licenses. While this privilege already exists for Type 1 license holders, SB 788 (Ashby) repeals the statutory requirement that a beer manufacturer must annually produce more than 60,000 barrels of beer in order to manufacture cider or perry under their beer manufacturing license. As a result of this new law, Type 23 license holders will have the ability to produce cider or perry without possessing a winegrower’s license.
Under current federal and state law, both cider, which is made from apples, and perry, which is made from pears, are classified as wine since they are fermented from fruit. SB 788 does not change the classification of cider or perry, rather it establishes parity for small beer manufacturers to produce cider or perry under the same exception that exists for Type 1 license holders. As part of the exception, beer manufacturers are able to sell cider or perry to other licensees authorized to sell wine (such as wholesalers or retailers), but are not authorized to sell or offer tastings to consumers at their brewery unless they possess a winegrower’s license. If a beer manufacturer wishes to offer tastings, consumption, or sales to consumers of cider or perry on a Type 1 or Type 23 licensed premises, they will need to acquire a winegrower’s license to do so and be afforded the full privileges associated with the sale of alcoholic beverages fermented from fruit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Annual Fee for a winegrower’s license?
As of January 1, 2024, the annual fee for a winegrower’s license ranges from $145 to $665 depending on the amount of wine produced annually. For a full breakdown of annual fee amounts by production, visit our License Fees page. Please note that fee amounts may be adjusted annually pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 23320 to account for inflation.
Do I have to produce wine under a winegrower’s license or can I limit my production to cider or perry?
While actual production of wine is a requirement of the winegrower license, there is no requirement that the wine must be produced from a particular fruit, such as grapes. Since cider and perry are both defined as wine, production may be limited to those alcoholic beverages if you wish to do so.
If I possess a Type 1 or Type 23 license but not a winegrower’s license, may I sell my cider or perry directly to retailers?
Yes. Business and Professions Code section 23357 allows a licensed beer manufacturer to sell cider or perry they produce to any licensee authorized to sell wine.