Sunday, January 10, 2010

“It’s a tourism issue and it’s a specialty item and it’s a true art.”

Yes, yes ... and yes.

By way of the C-J, the Associated Press surveys the Indiana legislature’s progress toward alcohol law changes. One in particular would impact my brewing business.
The study committee also voted against allowing microbreweries — smaller establishments that have limits on how much beer they can make each year — to sell their beer for takeout on Sundays.

But Republican Sen. Ron Alting of Lafayette, chairman of the Senate Public Policy Committee, has filed a bill that would allow such sales. He plans to give it a hearing before his panel.

Alting noted that farm wineries in Indiana are allowed to sell their products for takeout on Sundays and said microbreweries should have the same privilege.

“It’s a tourism issue and it’s a specialty item and it’s a true art,” Alting said.
I've never met Sen. Alting, but his quote above eloquently summarizes why there is no logical reason for using different sets of rules for small wineries and small breweries. Furthermore, rules governing artisanal production of beer and wine are not cut from the same cloth as those governing package store and othe retail Sunday sales.

The Indiana legislature has the opportunity in 2010 to balance this particular playing field, and NABC will have a team on the ground in Indianapolis this Wednesday to join the Brewers of Indiana Guild at the statehouse to meet elected officials and make the point in person. If you agree with me -- in fact, even if you don't -- please contact Rep. Ed Clere and Sen. Connie Sipes and let them know.

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