Manufacturers and bottlers of both apple juice and cider must get a license from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Food and Standards Division. Because an inspection is required before the license will be issued, it is important to know the standards even before choosing or building a manufacturing or bottling plant.
This is actually a cheap license to get just in terms of the license fee. It is only $20. But the part that could be very expensive is compliance with the standards.
This is more of a business than a professional license. So things like education, training, and exams are not requirements. Rather, safety and quality of production in the manufacturing or bottling process is paramount.
You can either apply online or with a paper application. If you write a check or money order, make it payable to Treasurer, State of CT.
Before you apply or even finalize your business plans, it would be good to give a call to the Food And Standards Division and let them know what kind of business you intend to run. They may give you an inspection checklist that you can use to prepare all aspects of your apple juice or cider manufacturing or bottling business. Their telephone number is 860) 713-6160. And their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another thing you can do is look over the rules and regulations that specifically related to apple cider and apple juice. These cover multiple aspects of the manufacturing process and even characteristics of the physical plant. For example, pressing rooms must have concrete floors, and only “sound apples” may be used in the manufacturing of juice or cider.
There are also rules related to the equipment you use. Although equipment sellers might help you here, it is still vital that you have your own team check all Connecticut legal requirements. My recommendation is to read each rule and then come up with your own checklist on how to comply with that rule. For example, one rule is that all equipment must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day’s run. This would require to incorporate cleaning into the work schedule of each daily run. If you run a 24-hour business, then you must select a time of day when the run ends and have a plan one exactly how to clean all the equipment. This is just one example. It could take hundreds of hours to plan all this. So while the license is actually cheap, it requires an immense amount of preparation. The following page has links to all the rules.