The biggest "goof" necessitated us updating the diagram of our brewery since I had labeled the "Brewing Premise" as "Wholesale Food Manufacturing" , something I had seen on other breweries' diagrams that I had found. We also had to show proof that we had registered our trade name with the county (via a newspaper ad) and we had a lease on our building ok with having a brewery there.
So my advice after sending in your TTB paperwork: Call them. I'd say call a few days after they cash your bond. I do not think it was a coincidence that they emailed me two days after I called them. I also imagine that had I waited one more month they would have not emailed me until after I called them.
After getting all of paperwork in order we were ready for the big interview. This was probably the easiest part of the entire process, it took about 35 minutes and went over a bunch of rules and regulations.
If you're interested, here are all the questions:
Verify that I am a brewery not a brewpub.
Prior business experience: related and otherwise.
When I intend on beginning operations.
Equipment: Own it, purchasing it, or taking over existing brewery.
Prior TTB Authorization, if any.
If I owned stock/ownership in any other TTB authorized operation before or now
Are there any other parties that will partake in the profits?
Have the owners ever been convicted of a felony?
Have the owners ever been convicted of a misdemeanor related to alcohol?
Have the owners lived outside the US in the past 10 years?
How much money has been spent on the business since/towards going pro (since changing from homebrewing - money spend as a homebrewer does not count as investment money)
Are there any loans involved to finance?
Any problem with filing tax returns and paying taxes as they are due?
Verification of the brewery's address.
Are there were any other facilities or locations that would store non-taxed beer?
If I was aware that the TTB could come into the space at any time during business hours.
Describe the space and its appropriateness to being a brewery (floor construction, ceiling height, etc...)
Describe the brewing equipment
Where I planned to keep taxed and untaxed beers. We decided (by them telling us) that once beer left the primary fermenter it was to be taxed, ie. once it left the Brewing Premises side of the space (see diagram above)
That we need to lock our fermenters (they are houses in temperature controlled GDMs and the doors need to be lockable)
Where did I pitch the yeast?
If I'd be charging a fee for tours, parking or tasting.
If I shared the space with any other business, e.g. docks, etc
If the building was over 50 years old or on the National Historic Register
If I planned to sell interstate
If I planned to engage into an alternating proprietorship (letting other brewers use the facility) or if I planned on engaging in alternate premises (using the space to make wine, e.g.)
If I was aware that my taxation rate was $7/bbl up to 60,000 bbls
Where would I be keeping the records and would I have a reliable recordkeeping system and would they be available for audit [ref: ttb.gov, section 27CFR, section 25, subsection U]
Brewer's Bond expires every 4 years.
If I met the local and state zoning requirements: Commercial or Residential
If I had contacted the local fire department to ensure compliance with their regulations
If I was aware that I had to register with the FDA [ref: www.fda.gov,
That I can pay taxes and file forms online at pay.gov
That for labels I could go online [ref: http://www.ttbonline.gov/
colasonline/], that the first time I would print the forms and send in, afterwards, all online and could track its progress online as well
I could sign up for automatic email updates from the TTB on the industry at www.ttb.gov
1. LLC or Articles of Incorporation
2. Business License
3. IRS Employer ID Number
4. Seller's Permit
5. Planning / Zoning Approval
6. Tax & Trade Bureau
7. Food and Drug Administration
8. Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control
9. Dept. of Environmental Health