Sake Brewery

Anyone wishing to produce Saké must qualify as a brewery with an Approved Brewers Notice, and also must file an application for basic permit to produce and blend wine.

Saké (pronounced sah-kay) is an interesting product in terms of our regulations. Generally, for matters relating to production and tax, saké is treated as beer under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). For labeling and advertising, saké is treated as wine under the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act. Thus, saké is subject to provisions in both 27 CFR part 25 (beer production) and 27 CFR part 4 (wine labeling and advertising).

For matters relating to production and tax, saké is treated as beer under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

For labeling and advertising, saké is treated as wine under the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act

All domestically produced saké, including flavored saké and sparkling saké, requires formula approval (see 27 CFR 25.55(a)(5)). In addition, all imported saké products are subject to laboratory sample analysis. See our list of wines that require formula approval.

Standard of Fill
Standard of fill requirements found in 27 CFR § 4.70 through 4.73 do not apply to saké.

Saké with Added Alcohol
We tax saké that has had brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits added during any stage of manufacturing at the distilled spirits rate of $13.50 per proof gallon.

Imported saké with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits that is bottled and ready for individual sale can be labeled as saké, provided it is fortified with alcohol derived from rice. You cannot import bulk saké with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits to a saké brewery. You must import bulk saké fortified with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits to a distilled spirits plant.

Additionally, you must contact the Advertising, Labeling, and Formulation Division about the labeling of imported bulk saké fortified with brewer's alcohol or distilled spirits.

Non-Beverage Saké
Nonbeverage saké may be removed from brewery premises without payment of tax under 27 CFR 25.191. For saké to be considered nonbeverage, the product may not have less than 1.5 grams of salt per 100 milliliters of product (12.5 pounds of salt per 100 gallons of product). Any variation of this ratio may change the classification of nonbeverage saké.

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