There are a slew of possible bills coming down the pipes this session having to do with nanobreweries: a brewing category created by lawmakers in 2011. With a $240 nanobrewery license, an enthusiastic homebrewer can to start a small-scale commercial brewery. StateImpact New Hampshire will be keeping tabs on developments in the nanobrewing community throughout the year. Here are some issues you can expect to hear more about:
Raise the amount of beer that can be sold by the glass at a nanobrewery tasting room from 4 ounces to 16 ounces.
In 2011, lawmakers passed a bill allowing brewers who produce fewer than 2,000 barrels annually to obtain a license to sell their beer via barrel, keg, bottle, or in-person at a tasting room for one fifth the cost of a traditional license. But before the bill passed the Senate, a 4 ounce restriction was put on over-the-counter beer sales. This session, Representative Fred Leonard of Rochester (D) is sponsoring a bill to increase that limit to 16 ounces.
Remove restrictions that forbid cross-ownership of on-premise and off-premise establishments.
New Hampshire currently prohibits restaurants and beverage vendors from opening a brewery on premises. This session, beer advocate Kevin Bloom is working with lawmakers to craft a bill which will likely include repealing restrictions like those defined here.
Establish a pilot program for the sale of New Hampshire microbrewery and nanobrewery beers at specific state liquor stores.
Robert Cushing (D) Rockingham is sponsoring this bill along with two other Democratic house members. Cushing says he’s hoping to target out of state customers by making New Hampshire-brewed nano- and micro-brews available at four state liquor stores near state lines on I-93, as a strategy for stimulating local economies. At present, no beer is sold at the state’s liquor stores.