House Bill 1052 Limits Production for Small Breweries - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

House Bill 1052 Limits Production for Small Breweries

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 10:47 PM Updated:
(Photo credit: MGN) (Photo credit: MGN)

SALISBURY, Md. - The proposed house bill 1052 rolls back limitations for Maryland small breweries from 2,000 barrels to 500 annually. 

The house bill, sponsored by Maryland Delegates Talmadge Branch and Dereck Davis, would restrict the small breweries from producing more barrels, but allow large breweries to keep making the same amount. 

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot opposes the bill, publicly stating that it would destroy the state's craft brewing industry.  He started a task force in April of 2017 to oppose the house bill.  "Reform On Tap" is a legislative package that will be heard on the same day as House Bill 1052 in Annapolis.  The package would erase limitations on beer productions and allow the small craft beer companies to grow and expand within the state. 

Tall Tales Brewing Company Owner Jason Hearn is not in favor of House Bill 1052 because of it's restrictive nature to businesses like his. 

"Their argument is, well, nobody's coming close to selling 500 barrels a year out of their taproom, but instead of allowing room for growth," Hearn said. "They're saying, you know what, we're gonna reduce it back for everyone else."

Hearn says the house bill is making room for Guiness, scheduled to open in Baltimore, to have the upper hand on small breweries in Maryland. 

House Bill 1052 and Franchot's "Reform On Tap" package will be heard by the Economic Matters committee on February 23 in Annapolis. 

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