One of my favorite blogs, beer-related or not, is Masson’s Blog. Blog author and lawyer Doug Masson provides coverage and information on the legal and political going-ons in Indiana. And I suspect that he is a bit like a kid in a candy shop right now as the Indiana General Assembly begins to assemble bills for the 2014 legislative session.
The bills are just starting to come in and already there are four bills that could impact beer in Indiana. I will do my best to channel my inner-Masson and keep you updated. You can follow along on the Indiana General Assembly website too.
Senate Bill (SB) 5:
Sen. Ron Alting (R – District 22; Tippecanoe County)
Sale of microbrewery beer at farmers' markets. Allows a small brewer to sell the brewer's beer to consumers for carryout at a farmers' market that is operated on a nonprofit basis, in a quantity of not more than 576 ounces per consumer at any one time. Requires the beer sold to be placed in the bottle or container at the brewer's permit premises.
This has been on the Brewers of Indiana Guild’s wish list for a while. This bill has been proposed in past sessions. Indiana’s farm wineries are permitted to sell at farmer’s markets (see IC 7.1-3-12-5(a)(4) at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title7.1/ar3/ch12.pdf).
Sen. James Banks (R – District 17; Wabash, Whitley, Huntington, and Grant Counties)
Sen. Ron Alting (R – District 22; Tippecanoe County)
Sen. Carlin Yoder (R – District 12; Elkhart and Kosciusko Counties)
Microbreweries and artisan distilleries. Requires that, for a brewery to qualify as a microbrewery, the entire brewing process of the beer must occur in Indiana. Allows a small brewer to sell the brewer's beer to consumers for carryout at a farmers' market that is operated on a nonprofit basis, in a quantity of not more than 576 ounces per consumer at any one time. Allows a microbrewery, with the approval of the alcohol and tobacco commission, to participate in a trade show or an exposition for not more than 45 days in a calendar year. Allows the holder of an artisan distiller's permit that also holds a microbrewery permit to hold a retailer permit for a restaurant. Makes an exception to a provision that prohibits the holder of an artisan distiller's, a distiller's, or a rectifier's permit to own, acquire, possess, or cause to be transferred to the holder shares of stock of a corporation that holds an Indiana permit to sell alcoholic beverages at retail, or in a permit to sell at retail in Indiana, or to own or acquire an interest in the business being conducted under the permit, or in or to shares of stock in a corporation that owns a permit to sell at retail.
This includes elements in SB 5. This bill would, also, allow companies that own microbreweries to own distilleries. Indiana Code provides a lot of walls between beer, wine, and liquor. This would start to break down the walls. The trade show and exposition lines would allow microbreweries to obtain permits to sell pints and carryout from festivals and similar events. This is a right given to farm wineries (see IC 7.1-3-12-5(c) at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title7.1/ar3/ch12.pdf).
Sen. Brent Steele Sen. Steele (R – District 44; Brown, Bartholomew, Monroe, Lawrence, and Jackson Counties)
Sen. Philip Boots (R – District 23; Warren, Fountain, Vermillion, Parke, Montgomery, and Boone Counties)
Artisan distiller permits. Allows an artisan distiller to produce, in a calendar year, a maximum of 30,000 gallons of liquor not sold through a wholesaler. (Current law allows an artisan distiller to produce, in a calendar year, a maximum of 10,000 gallons of liquor not sold through a wholesaler.) Allows the holder of an artisan distiller's permit to hold a farm winery permit, a microbrewery permit, and a distiller's permit. (Current law allows a holder of an artisan distiller's permit to hold only one of these permits.) Amends permit requirements for certain artisan distillers. Allows the holder of an artisan distiller's permit to: (1) sell liquor for carryout on Sunday; and (2) upon approval, conduct business at three additional locations that are separate from the premises on which the artisan distiller manufactures liquor.
Like SB 16, it addresses cross ownership between microbrewers and distillers. It also would change some distiller rules. The carryout on Sunday and additional locations language is similar to language found in Indiana Code for farm wineries (see IC 7.1-3-12-5(a)(10) and IC 7.1-3-12-5(b) at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title7.1/ar3/ch12.pdf).
Authored by Sen. R. Michael Young (R – District 35; Marion and Hendricks Counties)
Liquor and wine wholesaler permits. Allows a liquor wholesaler to transport and import liquor into Indiana from a warehouse located in another state if: (1) the liquor is kept and stored in the warehouse in accordance with the laws and rules of the other state; (2) the warehouse is owned or operated by the liquor wholesaler; and (3) the liquor kept or stored in the warehouse is transported or imported from the warehouse to the premises described in the liquor wholesaler's application and permit before it is delivered to an appropriate permittee or purchased by a bona fide regular employee. Allows a wine wholesaler to transport and import wine, brandy, or flavored malt beverage from a warehouse located in another state if: (1) the wine, brandy, or flavored malt beverage is kept or stored in the warehouse in accordance with the laws and rules of the other state; (2) the warehouse is owned or operated by the wine wholesaler; and (3) the wine, brandy, or flavored malt beverage is transported or imported from the warehouse to the premises described in the wine wholesaler's application and permit before it is delivered to an appropriate permittee, or applicable to wine, a bona fide regular employee. (Current law requires liquor, wine, brandy, and flavored malt beverage to be transported or imported from the primary source of supply.) Provides that the sale, transportation, and delivery of: (1) liquor by a liquor wholesaler; or (2) wine, brandy, or flavored malt beverage by a wine wholesaler; to applicable permittees may be made only from inventory that has been located on the wholesaler's premises before the time of delivery. (Current law requires that it be made before the time of invoicing and delivery.)
This is not beer specific but deals with alcohol wholesalers. Wholesalers seems to be merging across state borders and this would likely allow for easier operations and shifting of inventory.
More information as it comes…