HB136 helps more than microbreweries.
Last week in Frankfort, Kentucky’s House of Representatives passed House Bill 136. Microbreweries and the Kentucky Guild of Brewers were pleased with the passing and went to social media to celebrate. The brewers urged their social media followings to support the bill because it allowed them to sell more packaged beer to customers directly. But in the details of the bill, things get even better for customers.
A focus of contention in the bill has been the volume of beer available for beer fans to take home from their favorite breweries. Several floor amendments were filed with the committee for the bill about the limit for packaged sale. The bill passed with a limit of thirty-one gallons – i.e., one beer barrel, or two standard half-barrel kegs. For cans and bottles, breweries can only sale three cases to one person if the bill becomes law. This part of the bill is the one getting the most attention as a benefit for consumers.
Besides being able to buy kegs of beer for barbeques, weddings, and other large gatherings, beers nerds might also be interested in the part of the bill regarding fairs and festivals. As things stand now, breweries could not sell any beer for off-premise drinking at fairs and festivals. Being at an event, a brewery benefits from meeting new customers who perhaps have not heard of them. If someone tries a brewery for the first time at a vendor’s booth, they are likely to want to take a six-pack home. According to HB136, breweries will be allowed to sell up to a case per customer at a fair or festival.
The bill is headed to Kentucky’s Senate with reasonable limits for sales. When the bill was introduced the limit was only 288oz or two and quarter gallons. Those who introduced the bill are happy with allowing breweries to sell multiple kegs at a time. The bill supports a growing craft beer industry by giving beer drinkers the chance to try and purchase beer from more than one brewery at events.
As a beer drinker, this bill completely changes the game. Microbreweries are happy to be able to offer more beer in more packages directly from their taprooms. But the customer is the real winner. If this bill passes through the Senate and the governor’s office, drinkers will have completely new ways to enjoy brewery-fresh beer at home.
Kentucky Growler encourages every reader to check LRC.KY.GOV and Legiscan.com to keep tabs on Kentucky HB136. During the rest of the process, amendments may be added regarding package sale limits and the scope available to sell beer directly to drinkers.