Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New craft bill law highlighted during ceremonial bill signing

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the craft beer bill again during a ceremonial signing at the state Capitol Monday.
Tomblin approved the bill (SB 273) in March, which would help the state’s craft beer industry. The bill would enable brewers to provide on premise samples, ease limits on growler sales, and implement a gradual licensing fee system eliminating the current flat rate.
State craft brewers have been thrilled about the passing of the bill, specifically Mountain State Brewing Company in Tucker County.
The bill allows small companies to sell their beer in growlers (a half gallon jug) to retailers.
The licensing structure stated that a brewer would need about $3,000 in state license fees at any size brewery, which made it difficult for smaller companies to keep up. The bill allows the fees to be scaled back now, which makes it more affordable to obtain a license.

Mountain State has been around for 10 years, being one of the first four licensed breweries in West Virginia. They employ nearly 100 people at their three different locations. Currently, there are about 11 licensed craft brewing companies in the state.