Certification of Label Approval, or "COLA's", are used to ensure that branding, labeling, and formula requirements are met for alcohol products, but not all products require a COLA. Generally speaking, domestically bottled malt beverages do not require a COLA, unless they are bottled for shipment or delivery for sale or shipment outside of the state where produced. But does this mean they have to receive a certification of exemption?
Domestically bottled malt beverages are not required to obtain a COLA, if sold in intrastate commerce. This also allows these malt beverages to not require a certification of exemption. While these domestically bottled malt beverages sold in intrastate commerce do not require a COLA, they still must comply with the marketing, branding, labeling, and formula requirements (including TTB formula approval, if necessary) set forth for all beer under 27 CFR part 25. The label must also have the health warning statement as that is required for all alcoholic beverages bottled for sale or distribution in the United States.
Even if an alcoholic beverage does not require a COLA or a certification of exemption, brewers must still comply with federal labeling and formula requirements. Many breweries who sell products intrastate only still apply for COLA's to ensure their labels are compliant, or if they intend to sell to different states in the future.
If you have questions regarding what is required on beer and malt beverage labels, we recommend consulting with an experienced attorney familiar with these requirements.