Sunday, March 10, 2013

Update on distillery license process

In late January, while I was in the thick of finishing the first draft of my soon-to-be published book (Pure Poultry), I received an e-mail from an inspector at the WA State Liquor Control Board. The gist of the message was that the WSLCB is ready to grant me a Craft Distillery License, on one condition: That I submit a copy of my Federal Basic Permit.

Alas, I have not yet received this permit. Earlier in January, I received a packet of forms from the TTB (the Alcohol Tobbaco Tax & Trade Bureau, formerly the ATF). I had submitted a package of forms in December, thinking that I had completed all the forms needed for the Federal Basic Permit. I had dutifully downloaded and filled out every form that the TTB web site said was required for this permit. Still, according to the somewhat terse cover letter that came with this latest stack of forms, I apparently failed to provide quite a lot of stuff.

At the time, I really couldn't deal with it. David and I were both sick with a nasty flu, and I was trying to figure out how I was going to get my manuscript, the organic certification renewal, and my business taxes done by the end of January. So I put the whole packet aside and promised myself I wouldn't look at it again until I had turned in my book manuscript.

I turned in the manuscript on February 14. The same day, I finished my business taxes (the deadline was extended to the 15th because of a Dept. of Revenue mixup) and got that mailed. Then, and only then, did I turn my attention back to the government paperwork for my little distillery.

At this point, I am pretty sure I am done with all the required forms. Now I just have to make about a thousand copies of everything (some forms they want in duplicate, some in triplicate; I feel like sending them extra tax money this year so they can install their own copiers). They even want a photocopy of both David's and my driver's licenses. Oh, and a bond, believe it or not. Apparently someone has spent a lot of time figuring out ways to guarantee the government will still get its liquor tax money if my tiny, tiny distillery should go out of business.

That's about it for now. I will probably be using a week's worth of grocery money just to ship this massive package of forms, but I will do it. I am so close now to getting the license that I have been working toward since last November! More updates as they become available...