Top 5 Craft Beer Headlines: A Week In Review
At Craft Beverage Jobs, we spend many hours each week researching current events within the craft beer industry. News about industry growth, new business, job openings and personal profiles helps keep us up to date on what’s happening in craft beer across the world.
At the end of each week, that adds up to a lot of information. So, we thought we would share with you our picks for the Top 5 Craft Beer Headlines from each week! Here is Craft Beer Headlines: A Week In Review.
This week’s headlines are all about Craft Beer Legislation across the US.
1. Florida: Craft Beer Legislation To Legalize Growlers
Bill introduced to legalize craft beer ‘growlers’, by Jermome R. Stockfisch – The Tampa Tribune
TAMPA — Calling the restriction “an insult to the idea of a free market,” freshman state Rep. Chris Sprowls joined Sen. Jack Latvala in introducing legislation Tuesday that would allow the state’s exploding craft beer industry to sell its products in 64-ounce “growlers.”
Florida is one of just two states — Utah being the other — that doesn’t allow patrons to take beer home from a craft brewery in the half-gallon refillable jugs.
“It’s nothing new or revolutionary,” Latvala said at an event at Dunedin Brewery attended by dozens of craft brewers and their backers. “We’re just announcing we’re going to file the same bill we’ve filed the last two years. I don’t think there’s a reason in the world why Florida should be one of only two states in this entire country that doesn’t allow 64-ounce growlers.”
2. West Virginia: Economic Development Bill
Committee on Economic Development presents bill aimed to improve craft beer industry, by Aaron Payne – Metro News
CHARLESTON, W. Va. – The state legislature is looking to encourage the brewing craft beer industry in the Mountain State.
In a September interim session, lawmakers heard a presentation from the West Virginia Craft Brewers Guild –representing the interests of the 12 licensed craft breweries in the state.
The Joint Commission on Economic Development took the guild’s recommendations on how they could make the state more friendly to the industry and asked legal counsel to create a bill.
Currently, there are two types of licenses to those who brew in the state, one for resident brewers and one for foreign corporation brewers.
Under this system, all breweries have to pay the same fee. From the big corporations to the microbreweries like the one potentially about to be started in Shepherdstown.
“That’s a three barrel system, he brews six kegs at a time. To do that, he has to buy a resident brewers license for $1,500 and a brewpub license for $1,000, so $2,500,” Brian Arnett, president of the Craft Brewers Guild said. “You have to sell a lot of beer to make a profit on beer at that small scale.”
In the proposed draft, the fee would change based on production, requiring breweries to provide an estimate of how much beer they will produce when applying for the license.
3. Georgia: Fight For Craft Beer Law Equality
The Quest for Craft Beer Equality: Georgia’s Fight to Thrive, by Jim Vorel – Paste
In 45 states of this country, you can walk into the on-site taproom of your local brewery and buy a beer. In nearly as many, if you find something you like, you can pick up a six-pack or growler to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. In those 45 states, neither of these liberties is considered exceptional. Rather, they’re obvious. But not so in Georgia.
Along with Mississippi, West Virginia, North Dakota and Hawaii, Georgia is one of only five remaining states that doesn’t allow direct sales of any kind from breweries. Unsurprisingly, the craft beer market suffers as a result—despite the fact that cities such as Atlanta and Athens are home to exceptional brewers, the state operates as a net craft beer importer, with two-thirds of all craft beer consumed there produced outside state lines. The consumers are there, and thirsty. State law, on the other hand, is still rooted in the dark days of prohibition. And if things are going to change, the state’s craft brewers guild is going to need your help.
For people who visit from outside Georgia, it’s a bit of a shock. They expect to be able to visit the local brewery and buy a beer. Almost everywhere else in the country, they can. – Nancy Palmer, Executive Director Georgia Craft Brewers Guild
Palmer is one of the voices leading Georgia’s charge toward equality and reform of antiquated laws when it comes to the state’s breweries.
4. Texas: Fight Against Bill 639 – “Sale Restriction” Law
Craft Beer Brewers Say Texas Law Singles Them Out for Harm, by Ryan Kocian – Courthouse News Service
AUSTIN, Texas (CN) – Texas alcohol regulators unconstitutionally force craft brewers to give away their territorial rights to distributors for free, three beer brewers claim in court.
Live Oak Brewing Company, Revolver Brewing, and Peticolas Brewing Co. sued the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission on Dec. 10 in Travis County Court, alleging violations of the Texas Constitution.
Beer production in Texas is a three-tier system, consisting of brewers, distributors, and retailers. Each branch must be independent from the other branches.
The TABC requires brewers that make more than 125,000 barrels of beer per year to use distributors, but while beer brewers who make less than 125,000 barrels per year are allowed to self-distribute or use a distributor.
The dispute that is the subject of the lawsuit arose in 2013, after the Legislature passed Senate Bill 639, also referred to as the “Sale Restriction.”
The law stops the prior practice of brewers selling their territorial rights on the open market to distributors. The brewer now must give the distributor those rights for free. But distributors who receive territorial rights for free can resell them to other distributors for a profit. And a brewer would have to repurchase its territorial rights from the distributor that got those rights for free (if the distributor agrees to the repurchase). The TABC is responsible for enforcing this law.
5. National: Small BREW Act Shows Strong Support
Small Brewer Excise Tax Legislation Shows Solid Support as 113th Congress Adjourns – Brewers Association
Small brewer excise tax recalibration legislation, The Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act) registered significant bipartisan support in both chambers of the 113th U.S. Congress. H.R. 494 was introduced on February 5 by Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Richard E. Neal (D-MA). Joining as original co-sponsors of the bill were Representatives Peter De Fazio (D-OR), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC).
The bill now has a total of 181 sponsors. On May 9, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced S. 917 in the U.S. Senate. The bill now has the support of 47 Senate sponsors.
The Small BREW Act seeks to reduce the small brewer rate on the first 60,000 barrels by 50 percent (from $7.00 to $3.50/barrel) and institute a new rate $16.00 per barrel on beer production above 60,000 barrels up to 2 million barrels. Breweries with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for these tax rates. Legislation introduced last session, H.R. 1236, gained a total of 174 total sponsors. In the Senate, companion legislation S.534 realized 44 total sponsors.
Your Career In Craft Beer Starts In 2015
January 1st is almost here and its a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. If you have always loved craft beer and dreamed of being a part of this exciting time for the industry, look no further than Craft Beverage Jobs to get your start!
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- Find A Craft Beer Job Here
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photo credit: Sean Davis via photopin cc
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