According to TTB, responding to requests form the brewing industry and other interested parties, TTB is now exempting from the malt beverage formula requirements malt beverages made with certain ingredients, including honey and certain fruits, spices and food ingredients. TTB also determined that certain processes — like aging beer in barrels used for wine or distilled spirits — do not require the filing of a formula.
The ingredients listed below and further detailed at http://www.ttb.gov/rulings/2014-4a.pdf no longer need TTB review in order to provide a suggested statement of composition.
Fruits (whole fruits, fruit juices, fruit puree or fruit concentrate)
• juniper berries
• cocoa (powder or nibs)
• orange or lemon peel or zest
• star anise
• vanilla (whole bean)
TTB notes that where more than one exempted ingredient is included, the label may use the term that best identifies the product. For example, “Blackberry and blueberry ale,” or “Cinnamon and allspice stout”; “Fruit ale” or “Flavored ale” or “Spiced stout”; or “Blackberry ale” or “Cinnamon stout”. The label must clearly distinguish the product from a product not brewed or flavored with any of the ingredients. So a designation like “beer” or “stout” is not adequate.
TTB also provided examples of acceptable and insufficient designations here http://www.ttb.gov/rulings/2014-4b.pdf.