Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
-- Winston Churchill

Since June of 2013, when the Floyd County Health Department blithely usurped its statutory authority by demanding that NABC obtain temporary food serving permits to pour pints of beer into plastic cups, we have proven it wrong three times.

First, with the Indiana Court of Appeals ruling Ft. Wayne v Kotsopoulus, then with an advisory opinion from the Indiana Attorney General's office, and finally with an actual state law providing even more excruciating detail as to why Dr. Tom Harris should lose his job.

Major thanks go to Rep. Ed Clere for authoring "SECTION 6. IC 16-42-5-30," of House Enrolled Act No. 1311, and shepherding the bill. It is what might be called an omnibus beer-related collection of seemingly minor directives, including the modification of the food service requirement for taprooms (more on that later), but allow me just this one observation.

Most of the media attention during this year's legislative session was centered on Senate Bill 297 and small brewer barrel limits. As time goes by, these limits will become increasingly relevant for our bigger industry players. But right now, with the vast majority of Indiana brewers still quite small, it's the smaller things that matter most.

Rep. Clere understands this, and is to be commended for it.

I've posted the complete tome at my NA Confidential blog. Included is the narrative, text of the new law, and links to the back story.

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

On June 14, 2013, the New Albanian Brewing Company was peaceably vending beer at Bicentennial Park, by means of a supplemental catering permit issued by the company's governing agency, the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.

The Floyd County Health Department arrived and said that NABC also needed a temporary food serving permit.

I said no, that's incorrect.

They persisted, and a two-year-long struggle commenced.

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