April 25, 2016 at 2:43 pm #944mdbeerKeymaster
The Brewers Association of Maryland had another successful session this year, with a number of advancements and groundwork laid for a “Brewery Modernization Act” in 2017/2018.
- HB739: Changed how the non-profit beer festival license is issued. As of July 1, it will be issued by the state and not local jurisdictions, streamlining the application process. Also, the beer sample size at festivals was increased to a max of 4 oz. [See language]
- HB733: Clears the way for the holder of a Class 5 or 8 brewery license to hold additional manufacturing licenses on the same premises. [See language]
- HB1239: Attempt to raise the number of barrels a Class 5 may sell under its Class D license from 500 to 1,500 barrels. This was heavily opposed and both legislators and the Comptroller’s office have used its failure to point to the need for a major revision in the alcohol code. [See language]
- SB526: Provides the Dept. of Agriculture the ability to exempt certain products or entities from commercial feed law. This was prompted by inspections by MDA related to donations of spent grain to farmers. We’ll work with MDA to ensure breweries are exempted once the law takes effect. [See language]
- HB370: Would have allowed breweries to take their product onto a licensed premises for a public promotion. The bill died due to opposition from the wholesalers who “didn’t see the need” for breweries to promote their products on licensed premises w/o going through a wholesaler, selling the product to the store, buying it back from the store before giving it away to consumers… [See language]
- HB1071: Allows the Class 7 to be issued in Cecil Co, and allows the liquor board to reduce the food requirement. [See language]
- SB724: Rewrites the entire alcohol law! It’s a recodification rather than a “rewrite,” so no substantive changes were intended to be made, though we’re reviewing it to find any quirks. [See language—warning, it’s 3400 pages!]
Other bills of note were killed, held or withdrawn, including the bill to extend liability to servers of alcohol (Dramshop), the container recycling legislation, and a bill to require paid sick leave.
Stay tuned for news regarding “Brewery Modernization Act” planning meetings.
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