Weekly Growler Fill | National Beer News Roundup
Laws, laws, laws. On the week we gain a new President, we are covering all sorts of new proposals that may change craft beer regulations. New York may allow beer sales in movie theaters, Montana could allow road beers, and Massachusetts may ease restrictions on brewer-distributor relationships. Don’t miss out on all this good craft beer news. Keep reading to catch the details of these stories and more in this edition of the Weekly Growler Fill.
Currently under New York law, only movie theaters that serve restaurant-style food are allowed to also serve alcohol. However, that may soon change. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed changes that would allow any movie theater that serves concessions to apply for a liquor license. Guess that means New Yorkers won’t have to find over-sized bags to sneak in 6-packs anymore. [Read full article]
Massachusetts is proposing legislative changes that would make it easier on breweries to get out of contracts with distributors. As of now, breweries are locked in to their relationships with distributors under the ‘franchise law’, unless they can prove that the distributor isn’t doing their ‘best’ job. Even if a brewer can prove the distributor is violating the law, not exercising their best effort, etc., the brewer may still have to pay years of revenue to get out of the relationship. Sounds like a really crappy breakup. Over the years, there have been several attempts to eliminate the franchise law, all being unsuccessful. If the new bill passes, breweries that produce fewer than 30,000 barrels a year would be allowed to refuse sales to a distributor. The breweries would still have to buy back their remaining product and will likely have to payout the distributor for the rights to their brand – but the new changes would make it easier to get out of the contract in the first place. [Read full article]
Daniel Zolnikov, a state representative from Montana, is defending his proposed HB 206, otherwise known as the ‘road beer’ bill. Under this legislation, passengers in a car could drink alcoholic beverages, as long as the driver stays dry. “Most Montanans I would say are already breaking a law with an open container anyway,” said Zolnikov. “If you read the law, if you have an open container that is not in your trunk or locked in the glove box and it is sitting next to you, even if it is beers that have not been opened, wine that was previously open and closed again, anything along those lines, you can get an open container ticket.” Essentially, the new law would loosen the harsh restrictions Montana currently has in place for private vehicles. [Read full article]
Did you know that it is illegal to serve a U.S. ‘pint’ in Canada? It gets better. Under Canadian law, a ‘pint’ must be 20 oz or else customers can file a complaint with the federal government. It’s not that the Canadians can’t measure, they just measure differently. Their beers are served in imperial ounces, versus ours which are served in U.S. fluid ounces. In Canada, your 20oz pint equals 568ml, versus 473ml in the US. Restaurants and bars pouring boozy beverages are allowed a half-ounce margin of error, or else they can get in trouble. However, fines are rarely handed out to those who fail to pour a full glass. [Read full article]