Is it Legal to Keg RTD’s?
Ready-to-Drink (“RTD”) cocktails continue to grow as an industry segment, and with any new trend in the alcohol industry, the regulations tend to lag behind the innovations of the industry.
A common compliance issue we have noticed lately are TTB’s standards of fill for RTD’s. Depending on what the RTD is made from, it may be subject to federal alcohol regulations as to the allowable containers that can be used for sale.
Spirit-based RTD’s are largely regulated by the TTB like any other spirits-based product, including the allowable standards of fill.
The standards of fill for distilled spirits are contained in subpart K of part 5 of the TTB regulations. Within subpart K, paragraph (a)(1) of § 5.203 provides the following standards of fill for containers other than those described in paragraph (a)(2) of that section:
(i) 1.8 Liters.
(ii) 1.75 Liters.
(iii) 1.00 Liter.
(iv) 900 mL.
(v) 750 mL.
(vi) 720 mL.
(vii) 700 mL.
(viii) 375 mL.
(ix) 200 mL.
(x) 100 mL.
(xi) 50 mL.
In the case of distilled spirits in "metal containers which have the general shape and design of a can, which have a closure which is an integral part of the container, and which cannot be readily reclosed after opening", paragraph (a)(2) of §5.203 provides the following allowable standards of fill:
100 milliliters; and
So, this begs the question – can a DSP sell spirit-based RTD’s in kegs? Based on the above-cited regulations, it does not appear that TTB would allow it.
If you have questions on making and selling RTD products, we recommend that you consult with an attorney experienced in this industry.