Shore Craft Beer NewsCalling all Marylanders…

Please sign the petition to support craft beer!

The Comptroller of Maryland, Peter Franchot, used his Reform on Tap Task Force to review and recommend changes to modernize the laws in the State of Maryland to support the craft brewing industry. Maryland trails surrounding states in laws governing craft brewers, both production brewers and brew pubs.  Franchot’s task force attempted to gather information from all sectors and come up with recommendations for the State to adopt legislatively that will make Maryland more competitive with its neighbors and to help the craft beer related businesses thrive in the state.

His proposal has drawn a lot of controversy and criticism. See the links below for more information.

We at Shore Craft Beer believe that supporting the craft beer industry in the State of Maryland creates a rising tide that will improve the economic indicators for all craft beer-related businesses, including tourism. We want a strong craft beer presence in the State of Maryland and on the Shore. We have world class beer already, and making it easier for the breweries to make their beer and distribute it is good for everybody. We like our 3-tiered system with distributors, brewers, and retailers all making money on the craft beer produced in our region. 67% of every dollar spent on local craft beer stays local regardless of where that beer is purchased. However, we need to be sure that our brewers have all the advantages of the brewers in our neighboring states. Therefore, we are asking that EVERY MARYLANDER WHO SUPPORTS LOCAL CRAFT BEER AND LOCAL BREWERIES SIGN THIS PETITION.

Petition:


Shore Craft Beer will deliver our signatures to the Comptroller’s office by February 23. 

More information on the Comptroller’s Proposed Legislation

We have copied the Comptroller’s information and links below:

About the Reform on Tap Act of 2018

Citing the significant economic, fiscal and community contributions of Maryland’s craft brewers and the industry’s immense potential, Comptroller Peter Franchot has submitted legislation for consideration during the 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session that would fundamentally reform the antiquated laws and burdensome regulations that govern the state’s craft breweries.

The Reform on Tap Act of 2018 proposes the following:
• Removes all limits on beer production, taproom sales and take-home sales;
• Repeals the “buy-back” provision that requires brewers to purchase their beer from distributors at a marked-up cost if they exceed the 2,000-barrel limit on taproom sales.
• Lifts unnecessary restrictions for take-home sales;  
• Guarantees the issuance of Class B or D beer licenses to microbreweries upon request;  
• Lets local jurisdictions set guidelines for taproom operating hours;
• Allows smaller brewers to self-distribute;  
• Eliminates franchise law requirements; and  
• Removes restrictions on contract brewing that inhibits start-up businesses.

The legislation reflects the findings of the Comptroller’s Reform on Tap Task Force, which held eight meetings during this summer and fall to get a better grasp of the state’s current laws and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for craft brewers. The 40-member task force represented every region in the state and industry stakeholders including brewers, distributors, retailers, consumers and lawmakers from both parties.

An economic impact study conducted by the Bureau of Revenue Estimates found that in Maryland, the craft beer industry had an overall economic impact of $802.7 million and supported or created 6,541 jobs in 2016. The industry contributed nearly $110 million in local, state and federal revenues, which directly supports investments in education, public safety, transportation and the environment.

Still, the state is a net importer of craft beer, meaning it consumes more (275,000 barrels) than it produces (247,000 barrels). Furthermore, the National Brewers Association ranked Maryland 47th in economic impact, 36th in number of breweries and 25th in gallons produced per adult aged 21 years and over – all indications that the state’s craft beer industry has plenty of room to grow if the arbitrary restrictions currently in place are lifted.

 

More information about the Comptroller’s legislation can be found in the documents below.

Read more

From media outlets in the state

Baltimore Sun: Cutting through the foam of Maryland’s beer controversy

The purpose of Maryland’s regulation of the alcohol industry is “for the protection, health, welfare, and safety of the people of the state,” and it is for that reason only that state law justifies policies to “displace or limit economic competition.”

 

Baltimore Sun: Opposition ready to fight Franchot proposals to ease regulation of brewers

Disparate opponents are gearing to fight the recommendations of Comptroller Peter Franchot’s Reform on Tap task force recommendations to the General Assembly on how to unshackle the state’s growing craft brewery industry. Opponents who were on the task force complain that their input was ignored.

 

Capital Gazette: Joe Petro: Franchot’s proposals are much needed

Those who see criticisms of the proposals coming from the Reform on Tap Task Force should not be led to believe that all Maryland alcohol retailers share such views of state Comptroller Peter Franchot’s ongoing efforts to reform Maryland’s dysfunctional beer laws.

 

From media outlets on the Shore

WMDT: Controversy brewing over new beer bill

MARYLAND – In Maryland, lawmakers have been butting heads over ways to reform current brewing laws. A new bill has recently been introduced that could set new limits on production. House Bill 1052 would allow larger breweries that already sell 2,000 barrels to continue crafting that amount.

 

Delmarva Daily Times: Craft breweries more than vital than ever in Maryland: Franchot

The legislative session is underway in Annapolis and it is time to bring our thoughts back to beer. During the past year, a rather intense debate has illuminated craft brewing in Maryland, blinding us to some of the more crucial issues surrounding this industry.

 

The Dispatch: | Petitions Aim To Garner ‘Craft Beer Tourism’ Support For Legislation Changes | News Ocean City MD

BERLIN – Efforts to reform craft beer regulations in Maryland are in full force along the Eastern Shore, but distributors in the industry are voicing their concerns. Last year, Comptroller Peter Franchot formed a “Reform on Tap” task force in response to the 2017 passage of House Bill 1283, which imposes certain restrictions on breweries with a class five brewery license.

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