Bills supported by brewers association suffer setbacks

One bill sought by the Brewers Association of Maryland was killed in a Senate committee this week, while another was approved only after being sharply cut back.

Some of the breweries most active in seeking the legislation came out losers.

The panel voted down a bill that would have increased the amount of beer the holder of a brewpub license could produce. The main beneficiary of the bill would have been Evolution Craft Brewing in Salisbury.

The Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee approved a bill allowing micro-breweries to offer samples and sell beers at farmer's markets only after severely limiting which brewers could participate, according to brewers association executive director J.T. Smith. The market permits were limited to Maryland's one farm brewery and brewpubs with production under 3,000 barrels. Excluded were non-farm microbreweries such as Baltimore's Union Craft Brewing and Heavy Seas Beer and larger brewpubs such as Evolution. The bill now goes to the full House.

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