Food and Agriculture Department License Requirement for Breweries

The Department of Food and Agriculture has increased enforcement of Chapter 6 of the California Food and Agriculture code, after seeing an increase in breweries purchasing ingredients direct from farms.

How this affects you:

Chapter 6 requires that all food and beverage manufacturers in California apply for and maintain a license through the Food & Ag’s Market Enforcement Branch if they purchase agricultural products (hops, grains) directly from California growers.

This license applies to you if:

  • You produce beer in California
  • You purchase agricultural products directly from a farm or grower in California

This license doesn’t apply to you if:

  • You purchase all of your hops and grains from a dealer, distributor or other middle tier (BSG, S.S. Hopsteiner, etc.).
  • For agricultural products that are purchased from the middle tier, it’s the distributor’s responsibility to apply for and maintain a license through the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

You can find the application for the Department of Food and Agriculture here. Instructions for filling out the form can be found here.