It’s time to update Iowa’s alcohol laws

Iowa's Alcoholic Beverages Division administrator co-authored an op-ed in the Des Moines Register on updating the state's alcohol laws:

"For many years, Iowa’s alcohol laws have, essentially, been static. The few revisions that have occurred have been to accommodate changes in the industry such as native wineries and breweries. As the pace of change within the industry accelerated over the past decades, these somewhat ad hoc solutions continued, leaving our state with a patchwork of exceptions that have created confusion and regulatory uncertainty.

In an effort to address this condition and at the request of Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds, we convened a 15-member group of stakeholders in September 2016 to study Iowa’s alcohol laws to determine what changes could be suggested for legislative consideration...

[T]he recommendations presented to the governor and lieutenant governor were centered on the disparity that continues in the alcohol manufacturing world and are part of HF 607, which has passed a vote by the House of Representatives and is heading to the Senate for consideration.

Key provisions in HF 607 include allowing native distilleries to sell their products by the glass to customers at their facilities and to sell nine bottles of their making per person (they are now limited to two bottles). The bill also eliminates the requirement for brewpubs to route the beer they pour into growlers through a wholesale distributor, saving time and hassle for both the brewpub and the wholesaler. Additionally, HF 607 allows breweries to serve wine by the glass at their tap rooms, a reciprocal privilege based on the fact that the Legislature had carved out an exception in 2009 that allowed wineries to serve beer..."

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