Legendary TTB Label Approver Retires—The End of An Era

Jeff CarrollJeff Carroll Posts: 6 admin
edited August 2015 in TTB/Federal Compliance

News From TTB

June 5, 2015 



TTB's Malt Beverage Labeling Specialist, Kent Battle Martin, retired Thursday, May 28, 2015.  A recipient of the Administrator's Award, TTB's highest honor, Battle almost single-handedly reviewed every malt beverage label application submitted since he joined TTB in October of 2004.


Battle (and no, "Battle" isn't a nickname - he was named after his grandfather, John Battles Martin), an attorney and ex-Navy officer, came to TTB after working at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which he joined after spending a year at the Immigration and Naturalization Service. October 2014 marked his 20th year of government service. TTB isn't where he developed his passion for beer, however.  He has helped out at his family's bar, which opened in 1952, by doing everything from bartending to actually managing the place.


During Battle's tenure as a label specialist, he adeptly handled an incredible increase in malt beverage COLA workload. In 2013, Battle processed over 27,000 label applications, and in 2014, he processed over 33,000. In fact, in the first 8 months of this fiscal year (Oct. - May), he already processed 25,000 applications, which is roughly the same number for all of 2012!


On top of processing COLAs, Battle also spent significant time on the phone and answering emails, helping industry members with the intricacies of TTB's regulations on malt beverage labels and formulas.  He was also a very popular person at many beer industry conferences and trade shows over the years, providing advice, presenting seminars, and even processing people's malt beverage label applications on the spot!


Battle's departure marks the end of an era at TTB. We appreciate all of Battle's hard work and dedication, along with his many accomplishments. We wish him farewell and good luck in his retirement!




Michael Webster is now the lead TTB contact for malt beverage labeling. Please direct your malt beverage labeling calls to 866-927-2533, option 8, or contact us by email at alfd@ttb.gov.


Post edited by Alex Oxford on


  • MikeJBeerMikeJBeer Posts: 2
    I can definitely respect the amount of work Battle put into his job over the years but I wish they would have added at least one more person to help with the load.  In the 3 years I've been handling label submissions I've only one time been able to get a hold of Battle.  Most conversations were in the COLA website going back and forth on a submission and those were usually brief and not very helpful.  I've never had an email replied to and all but the one call to the TTB either went right to a voicemail (that wasn't returned) or went in circles with options.  With the amount of labels he deals with, by himself, it's not surprising he can't return calls or emails.  It's frustrating but not surprising.  They need more help.

    I hope the TTB can get Michael some help on his new position.
  • Robert LehrmanRobert Lehrman Posts: 29 admin
    For those who need more Battle:  this.
  • Alex OxfordAlex Oxford Posts: 42 admin
    365 day a year minus weekends = 261
    261 days minus two week vacation. = 247
    33000 labels a year divided by 247 work day = 133.6 labels a day
    133.6 divided by 8 =16.7
    So 16.7 labels an hour

  • Robert LehrmanRobert Lehrman Posts: 29 admin
    edited August 2015
    Legendary is just the right word. I like the legend that he was operating two laptops at one time, reviewing two different labels, while manning TTB's booth at a beer convention. I am having visions and recollections of other legends:  this, this, this. And then of course there is the plausible prospect that if Mr. Martin was actually spotted in the wild running two laptops, perhaps he ran a few more, when he was not tied down by e.g. a convention, travel or dazzled onlookers.
    Post edited by Robert Lehrman on
  • Alex OxfordAlex Oxford Posts: 42 admin
    Word on the street is that the Beverage Alcohol Community is having a webinar with the new beer guy in October ;).
  • CNBIVCNBIV Posts: 4
    A well deserved retirement!
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