The Brewers Association of Maryland Board of Directors has endorsed the legislative committee’s recommendations to introduce a 6-pack of bills that tackle each of the major issues affecting the industry, including production limits, distribution limits, on-premise sales limits, licensing restrictions, franchise law and research/promotion funding. Our goal: provide an opportunity to discuss each of the issues on their own merits and educate members of the General Assembly about the unique challenges facing our brewers.
Maryland brewers have a $637.6 million impact, support 6,541 jobs with $228.3 million in wages and $53.1 million in state and local tax revenue. Yet, compared to neighbor states, Maryland is 47th in economic impact, 36th in number of breweries, 25th in gallons produced per adult aged 21+ and is a net importer of craft beer.
2018 Brewers Association of Maryland Legislation
Thank you to the 23 enlightened legislators who are sponsoring legislation to GROW, not RESTRICT, Maryland brewing potential.
- SET REASONABLE ON-PREMISE CONSUMPTION LIMITS FOR CLASS 5 BREWERS– SB1017/HB1148– The bill sets a limit for on premise consumption at 25k barrels and ends any “buyback provision” requirement. Sponsors: Senator Barbara Robinson, Delegates Vanessa Atterbeary & Nick Mosby
- ELIMINATE PRODUCTION LIMITS–SB 867/HB1369– Allows Class 7 (micro breweries) and Class 8 (farm breweries) to produce as much beer as possible and sets on-premise consumption limits at 25K barrels. Sponsor: Senator Brian Feldman & Delegate Luedtke
- MODERNIZE FRANCHISE LAW– SB 1043/HB1222-Allows small breweries to end wholesaler contracts more easily while holding large out of state brewers to current statutory provisions. The bill does this by giving small brewers a shorter 15-day notice period for franchise termination and eliminating the mandated showing of “for cause.” Sponsors: Senator Cheryl Kagan & Ed Reilly, and Delegates Carol Krimm, Eric Luedtke, Kathy Afzali, Barrie Ciliberti, William Folden & David Vogt
- ALLOW BREWERS THAT PRODUCE LESS THAN 300k BBLS TO SELF DISTRIBUTE – and without annual limits. SB839/HB1015 – Sponsors: Senator Will Smith, and Delegates Bonnie Cullison & Eric Luedtke
- ELIMINATE THE “TWO LICENSE” REQUIREMENT TO ALLOW BREWERIES TO SERVE THEIR OWN BEER– SB1044/ HB1176– Until 2017, Class 5 breweries automatically got a local Class D license which allowed for on premise consumption. In 2017 this changed to being issued at the “discretion” of the local liquor board. This bill returns to the pre-2017 situation by making Class 5 breweries have on-premise consumption as part of their single State license. This is the same as wineries and distilleries in Maryland. Sponsors: Senators Johnny Ray Salling & Delegate Robin Grammer
- CREATE AN INDUSTRY FUNDED PROMOTION EFFORT SB956– Modeled on the Wine and Grape Promotion Fund, this bill takes the existing tax paid on beer produced in Maryland and allows non-profits to use it for promotion, research and education projects to support Maryland beer. Sponsors: Senator Addie Eckardt & Delegates Eric Luedtke, Buckel, Ebersole, Hornberger, Mosby, Shoemaker and Mary Washington
We Strongly Support the 2018 Comptroller & Governor Legislation
- HB0518 Reform on Tap Act – Removes limits on manufacturing, sales and distribution, and exempts small brewers from franchise law.
- HB0357 / SB0311 Fee Reduction– Reduces the annual fee for Maryland alcohol manufacturers.
We Strongly Oppose HB1052
HB1052 repeals all changes made via the HB1283 compromise in 2017. Some of these changes were bad—like limiting new brewers hours and revoking retail privileges if a brewery is sold. Some of these changes were headed in the right direction, like raising how much a brewery can sell and allowing brewers to collaborative beer and contract-brewed beer. HB1052 is an attempt to relitigate HB1283. We oppose HB1052.
Rather than wasting our time and energy debating this distraction, let’s focus on our legitimate, reasonable, reform efforts aimed to GROW our manufacturing industry.
Before voting on any brewery bills, we respectfully ask legislators to reach out to their local brewery or contact the Brewers Association of Maryland to hear for themselves what changes in-state breweries need to succeed.
If you’d like to reach BAM or any of our brewers, contact us!