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Law would allow farmers' market beer sales

Visitors to farmers' markets would be able to sample and purchase beer made by small Maryland brew pubs under a bill that received final General Assembly approval Thursday.

The House unanimously passed the measure, sending it to the governor. It is a stripped-down version of a bill introduced by Sen. Paul Pinsky, a Prince George's County Democrat. Where the original bill would have allowed any Maryland brewery to set up booths at farmers' markets, the amended legislation limits such licenses to far breweries or brew pubs that make fewer than 3,000 barrels a year.

Those limits would exclude some of Maryland's better-know craft breweries such as Heavy Seas in Halethorpe and Salisbury's Evolution Craft Brewing. Visitors to farmers' markets would be limited to purchasing one case of beer at a time. The bill also would put limits on how many times a year a brewery could set up shop at a market.

Michael Dresser

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