Helping out the Small Farmer in Maryland, Well Done!!

Senator wants brewery license changes

beer mug

HARFORD COUNTY, Md. – A Harford County Senator and Western Maryland Delegate are proposing a new farm brewery license to help farmers enter into the craft of beer making.

Senator Barry Glassman has officially offered his support for a new class of brewing license which would potentially aid farmers looking to create their own small craft brewery.

Currently, anyone with a micro brewery under what is known as a Class 5 License must be attached to a restaurant license as well. This causes problems for anyone not owning a restaurant but is looking to brew beer in small amounts.

Senator Glassman says the proposed license would mirror that of the Limited Wineries legislation that is already in place and would not change the current “Three Tier System”.  The beer could then be sold on premises in different quantities as well as shipped to other restaurants or pubs.

The bill would also require that a certain percentage of the products be used to brew the beer to be grown on the premises of the farm.

Senator Glassman recently attended a meeting with the Brewers Association of Maryland (BAM).  BAM relayed their concerns regarding the limitation on breweries, as well as voicing what they see as some of the potential benefits.  According to BAM, this new law is an attempt by local breweries to make their product more viable to wholesalers, as well as address an area of the beer market which they feel can be profitable.

Glassman said, “The great thing about this new market in addition to helping Maryland farmers, is that it is good for the environment.  For instance, barley is an approved cover crop in Maryland and malting barley requires very little nitrogen fertilizer.”

Senator Glassman plans to introduce this legislation during the current 2012 Legislative Session and is working with western Maryland Delegate Kelly Schulz (R), 4, Carroll and Frederick Counties.

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