Business — Federal ruling rescinded, allowing businesses to continue selling, filling wine growlers

It’s been a little more than a month since a federal ruling dictated that businesses must be approved as wine bottling houses to fill wine growlers, contrary to a bill passed in 2013 allowing businesses with state liquor licenses to fill and sell growlers.

As of April 25, those concerns by local businesses are no more, with an announcement that the fed­er­al Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bur­eau has res­cinded its ruling.Wyden

Sen. Ron Wyden made the announcement touting the decision as news worth celebrating.

“This is news that deserves a toast — wine growlers are once again legal in the state of Oregon,” Wyden said. “I want to thank the Alcohol, Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for managing to break through the bureaucratic morass and finding a common sense solution.”

With more than 900 vineyards and 515 wineries in 2012, Wyden said it didn’t make sense to force small businesses to be subject to “the same burdensome record-keeping, labeling and registration requirement as large wine bottling operations.”

“I saw this issue as an example of a federal agency that is out of touch with the times,” Wyden said. “In the letter to me and other members of the Oregon delegation today, the bureau ac­knowledged as much by saying that it needed to modernize its regulations regarding the sale of wine growlers.”

The letter stated the ruling is suspended, pending further rulemaking.

“It is not TTB’s intention to unduly burden the lawful sale of wine growlers in states such as Oregon, where such sales are permitted,” the letter read. “Accordingly, TTB has determined that it would be appropriate to engage in rulemaking on this issue, so that we can modernize our regulations to specifically address the filling of growlers with tax-paid wine. This will enable us to evaluate comments from all interested parties, including consumers, industry members and state regulatory agencies.”

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