Saturday, May 30, 2015

Another legislative win: Effective July 1, revised food requirements for Indiana brewery taprooms.

Previously, we took a look at the resolution of one long-running annoyance ...

May 20, 2015: PourGate 2013: took two years, but this new law silences Dr. Tom Harris and the Floyd County Health Department.

 ... and now, on to another. The background is here.

September 10, 2014: ON THE AVENUES: Law-abiding by weenie was never this viral.

With all due credit to Rep. Ed Clere and the lobbying effort put forth by the Brewers of Indiana Guild, there'll be a common-sense change to the law requiring Indiana brewery taprooms to furnish food -- those dreaded frozen weenie sandwiches. It takes effect on July 1.

Here is the exact wording.


AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning alcohol and tobacco.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SECTION 1. IC 7.1-3-2-7, AS AMENDED BY SEA 297-2015, SECTION 2, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2015]: Sec. 7. The holder of a brewer's permit or an out-of-state brewer holding either a primary source of supply permit or an out-of-state brewer's permit may do the following …

… (5)(G) Sell the brewery's beer by the glass for consumption on the premises. Brewers permitted to sell beer by the glass under this clause must furnish the minimum food requirements prescribed by the commission. make food available for consumption on the premises. A brewer may comply with the requirements of this clause by doing any of the following:

(i) Allowing a vehicle of transportation that is a food establishment (as defined in IC 16-18-2-137) to serve food near the brewer's licensed premises.

(ii) Placing menus in the brewer's premises of restaurants that will deliver food to the brewery.

(iii) Providing food prepared at the brewery.

Food trucks and delivery menus. That's fair, isn't it? Now that Earth Friends Cafe is housed at Bank Street Brewhouse, the point is moot for NABC -- but I didn't urge a solution for us alone. It's about the collective.

Also, there always was a fundamental difference between these two issues.

Ironically, the food requirement is about the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, an Indiana brewer's central governing authority. I respect the ATC and its role, and have tried to organize my professional life accordingly.

Meanwhile, the health department's insolent insistence that it could conjure administratively what couldn't be found in statute was something that needed to be fought hard, and was.

The health department wants beer to be under its domain as food?

Then change the law, but don't wave the magic revenue enhancement wand and expect me to buy it.

Tiring fighting these battles ... but necessary.

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