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Brewpubs, Microbreweries Seek Change in State Law to Allow Growth

Evolution Craft Brewery is one of the state's microbreweries asking the state legislature to change the law so it can continue to increase production.

Evolution Craft Brewery is one of the state's microbreweries asking the state legislature to change the law so it can continue to increase production. File|Patch
Evolution Craft Brewery is one of the state's microbreweries asking the state legislature to change the law so it can continue to increase production. File|Patch

Maryland microbreweries and brewpubs that want to increase production while continuing to operate restaurants and tasting rooms need the General Assembly to change state law.

If passed, Senate Bill 445/House Bill 774 would allow microbreweries and brewpubs to up their production from 22,500 barrels to 60,000 barrels per year, says the Baltimore Business Journal.

The changes would allow breweries that also have restaurants in the same building to produce up to two million barrels of beer a year, the same as the federal limit, under their existing class seven licenses, reports NBC 4 Washington.

A similar bill failed to pass the legislature last year.

Evolution Craft Brewery co-owner Tom Knorr told NBC he wants to continue adding employees at the Salisbury company as Lucky 7 and Primal Pale Ale get picked up in more markets, but needs the law to change.

There are currently 21 Class 7 microbreweries in the state that produced a total of 22,377 barrels in fiscal 2013, according to a fiscal note for the bill. If each of those brewers produced an additional 500 barrels annually, alcohol tax revenue would increase $29,295 each year for the state, the Business Journal says.

The Brewers Association of Maryland is also rallying support for another bill which would allow brewers to sample and sell beer at farmers’ markets.

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