AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Two bills will be discussed in Augusta Monday morning that could make some breweries in Maine happy and clarify laws that might otherwise deter new breweries from opening in the state.
While many people enjoy purchasing a bottle or six pack of their favorite brew on the way out of any Maine craft beer brewery, some feel the language of the law allowing them to do so is confusing. On Monday, the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee will hear two bills designed to clarify the regulations.
The first bill, LD 579, would allow licensed manufacturers to transfer their alcoholic product from facility to facility. However, the second bill is what really calls for change. When you visit a brewery you can taste beer and buy beer to bring home all in one room. As they currently stand though, state regulations require breweries that also have liquor licenses, like brew pubs that also serve other wine and spirits with food, to have a separate room for retail sales of their personal craft beer product. The second bill, LD 388, would eliminate the requirement of a separate room for buying take away craft beer.
A similar bill went before the VLA Committee last year and failed by a very slim margin when voted on. Some opponents argue bars should have the same ability as what LD 388 is suggesting. Others say craft breweries are local businesses making local product, and that growing industry should be encouraged and supported.