Montana Senate Restores Increased Production Limits for Breweries

Sam Wilson provides an update in the Daily Inter Lake on recent legislative activity in Montana:

"Two days after a state legislative panel gutted a bill allowing breweries to ramp up beer production while still charging for drinks in their taprooms, the Senate restored the original proposal while making concessions to Montana’s tavern owners and distribution companies.

As originally written, House Bill 541 sought to raise that annual production cap from 10,000 barrels per year to 60,000 barrels per year. The bill easily passed the House, but the Senate business committee amended the legislation Tuesday to cut the cap down to 12,000 barrels.

Under current law, exceeding that cap means that breweries in Montana can’t sell beer on their premises. Missoula-based Big Sky Brewing Co., for instance, can only offer free samples in its taproom.

Speaking on the Senate floor during the chamber’s debate on the bill, Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, offered an amendment to House Bill 541 to restore the original 60,000-barrel limit in the bill, while limiting breweries to three locations in the state and limiting annual on-premise consumption to 2,000 barrels per year...."

Read more at: http://www.dailyinterlake.com/article/20170406/ARTICLE/170409916

DrinksReform.org previously covered these reform efforts here: http://www.drinksreform.org/blog-1/2017/3/30/bill-could-raise-production-for-montana-craft-beer-industry