A State-By-State Roundup of New Beer Laws
The start of a new month means that a number of new laws are hitting the books in states around the country. That’s especially good news for beer lovers who will be seeing some pretty significant (positive) changes in places like Iowa and Florida.
Here’s a roundup of some of the more news-worthy beer laws that have gone into effect.
Thanks to Senate Bill 63 – aka the “Beer Jobs Bill” – breweries can now charge for a tour and, as part of the deal, give away free beer – up to 36 ounces on site and 72 ounce to take home, depending on what customers pay. Unfortunately, this new legislation comes as a bit of a disappointment: According the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, craft breweries were originally hoping to pass a different version of the bill that would have allowed them to sell larger amounts of beer direct to consumers. So I guess don’t be disappointed if your “brewery tour” is just someone walking you to the bar.
Growlers are officially legal in Iowa today. However, according to the Des Moines Register, a spokesman for the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division said he only knew of one retailer who was hoping to start filling growers immediately. (That would I-35 Spirits in Ankeny, for all you Iowan growler lovers!) Growlers can be no bigger than 72 ounces, and as long as you keep them unopened, the will not be considered open containers.
The Sunshine State has also changed their growler law, putting an end to a bizarre gap in their regulations that only allowed the sale of beer in quantities less than 32 ounces or greater than 128 ounces. As of today, 64 ounce growlers – considered the industry standard – are legal. There are other new laws as well: According to the News Press, Florida breweries can now open multiple taprooms, covering up to eight brewery locations, and the state has also expanded who is allowed to host beer tastings.
Alright, it was technically about three weeks ago, but West Virginians also have reason to celebrate as they too expanded the reach of growlers. According to the MetroNews, as of June 12th, properly licensed beer retailers were given the right to refill growlers. Previously, only brewpubs were allowed to do the filling.