Bill Allowing Increase In Distillery Production Heads To The Governor
House Bill 351 also allows distilleries to serve liquor in single serving portions
May 26, 2016
 
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The Ohio House today voted to concur on Senate changes to legislation allowing Ohio craft distilleries to increase its manufacturing limit from 10 thousand gallons to 100 thousand gallons annually.


The legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) and Anthony DeVitis (R-Green), also allows distilleries to obtain a permit allowing them to serve their distilled liquor, and other alcoholic beverages, by the glass to be consumed on the facility’s premises. House Bill 351 would also allow the distillery to serve food at its location.


“Assisting this industry with these new tools will put them on par with the booming brew pub industry,” said Rep. DeVitis. “The new policy will aid them in their pursuit of growing business that ultimately promotes job creation in Ohio.”


Under the bill, craft distilleries could apply for an A-1-A permit that is currently offered exclusively for the craft beer and wine industry and is commonly referred to as the “brewpub license.” By obtaining this permit, Ohio distillers will be able to operate more like a bar, attracting consumers who are interested in enjoying the microdistillery’s product on site.


The current 10,000 gallon production cap is lower than any of Ohio’s boarder states and is tied for the lowest production cap in the country. Many microdistilleries reach this maximum and are forced to choose between limiting production or applying for a more expensive permit. Either option hinders the businesses profits.


The bill sponsors say this inability to maximize their production prevents Ohio’s microdistilleries from competing nationally.


“I am excited to send HB 351 to the Governor’s desk,” said Perales. “This bill rolls back restrictive regulation, allowing microdistilleries to thrive in Ohio’s economy by unleashing their production and enabling them to serve their customers in exciting new ways.”


An amendment added by the Senate will allow a craft distillery to establish a brewpub on a parcel of land up to 200 feet from their manufacturing premises. Craft distilleries will also be able to establish brewpubs on the same parcel of land as their manufacturing premises, and on parcels that are only separated from their manufacturing premises by public roads.


House Bill 351 now awaits the Governor’s signature.

 
 
 
  
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