Maryland House Bill 1283, which raises barrel limits for brewery taprooms as well as additional limitations has passed. This bill gives Guinness permissions to establish a production plant in Baltimore, however, the ensuing restrictions may cause difficulties for Baltimore’s craft brewing scene.
The new bill, while increasing the legal limit for barrels from 500 to 2,000, also makes it so that taprooms have close by 10 pm, a far cry from the current standard which is often around 2 in the morning. Although the schedules for current taprooms are being grandfathered in so they won’t be forced to meet the new standards, it will make starting up a new brewery difficult for anyone hoping to introduce a taproom. In addition, the new contract clauses make it difficult for craft breweries to serve their wares as contract beers make up 25% of their taproom revenue.
Current Governer Larry Hogan sums up this problem nicely;
“Maryland’s craft brewing industry encompasses manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and entertainment — all of which are vital elements of our state’s economy.”
For more on the story, visit the Washington Times.