This past Spring, DrinksReform.org covered the debate around Maryland's controversial beer legislation, H.B. 1283. While the bill were moderated before passage, the law has remained unpopular among brewers in the Old Line State. In the aftermath of its enactment, Maryland formed a task force to meet with various stakeholders--brewers, retailers, distributors--to review and address Maryland's outdated beer laws. After a series of townhall-style meetings, the task force has concluded its efforts, and DCBeer.com's Greg Parnas has compiled a comprehensive update on the situation and what might be next:
"This past spring saw the emergence of a contentious legislative fight in Maryland over HB 1283 between brewers on one side and their counterparts in the three tier system, wholesalers and retailers, on the other. In its original form, HB 1283 would have brought new restrictions on craft breweries in Maryland that could have severely harmed the craft beer industry in the state. Thankfully, due to public outcry, the worst aspects of the bill were able to be modified in the Senate before final passage (via a backroom negotiation between the Brewers Association of Maryland (BAM) and the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association (MSLBA)).
In the aftermath of these events, including some odd side-lining of the Committee Chairmen who oversee alcohol regulation, Comptroller Franchot announced the formation of the Reform on Tap Task Force, whose goal would be to push for reform of Maryland’s beer laws. The Comptroller announced his findings at the final Task Force meeting today in Annapolis. In lieu of its conclusion, DCBeer decided to interview the various participants and stakeholders of the Task Force and get their perspective on its work and what comes next..."
The entire piece is well worth reading (available here).