Bill Benefits Evolution Craft Brewery - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bill Benefits Evolution Craft Brewery

(Courtesy: Evolution Craft Brewery) (Courtesy: Evolution Craft Brewery)

SALISBURY, Md. (WBOC) - A bill to be signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan benefits Evolution Craft Brewery in Salisbury. 

"EVO" can crank out 22,500 barrels of beer each year. That beer makes its way to bars and store shelves in Maryland, Delaware and Washington D.C.

Starting July 1, EVO can double the amount of barrels. 

"We've been going after this bill for a few years now," said John Knorr of Evolution Craft Brewery. "With our brewery expanding over the last six years, we've had to go back to Annapolis several times to get different laws passed."

In 2013, a bill was introduced that would allow craft breweries like EVO to churn out 60,000 barrels a year, but some thought it was a little too much too soon.

At the time, Betty Buck of Buck Distributing Company said, "They are a big part of our economy and it's growing, but right now to make the jump from 22,500 barrels to 60,000, that's just too big of a jump right now and it's not good for the industry."

The new 45,000 barrel maximum is specific to Wicomico County, thus nicknamed the "EVO bill." The company pushed for it so that they could maintain their restaurant alongside the brewery.

"If we surpassed that certain amount of barrelage, we would have had to do away with our restaurant and go to what's called a class five license, which is a brewery only, which would have eliminated our restaurant and another 60 jobs that we had in our brewery," said Knorr.

Knorr says now that they've been given the green light, they are looking to the future.

"It allows us to plan out our growth strategically instead of flying by the seat of our pants, now that we finally got the bill passed. This allows us to actually plan out, you know, and do a five-year plan where we didn't know if we were going to be able to do a year and a half plan before this," said Knorr. 

Knorr also says EVO will add more jobs to make the expansion possible. Right now the focus is on expanding their footprint in Virginia.  

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