Thursday, February 18, 2016

Important Brewery Legislation for Utahans

This is very important. If you have the slightest interest in craft beer you need to contact your representatives asap and tell them to vote against HB0228. This goes to a vote tomorrow, Friday 2/19/16. Read it and you'll understand. Don't delay. Spread the word tonight!


Dear Representative ____________,
As a constituent of yours, I am reaching out to you today to ask that you vote against HB0228. This bill is bad for Utah’s small breweries. The bill contains a number of problematic clauses most notably:
1.       Unrealistic proximity restrictions
2.       Overzealous food requirements that turn manufacturing breweries into restaurants
3.       The elimination of the Off-Premise Beer Retailer Local Authority that would hurt off-premise sales for small brewers
4.       A service rule that is unenforceable (one visit per person every 24-hours)
5.       The addition of a “Zion Curtain” or masking tasting from public view

Please vote against this bill when it comes up for a 3rd Reading in the House. As a small business owner, we cannot support a bill that creates undue burdens on our operations, forces us to become restaurants and decreases our ability to sell beer to go. 

Thank you for taking the time to hear our perspective and we appreciate your support by voting against this bill.

Sincerely,


8 comments:

Patti said...

I sent letters but all my reps are democrats. This legislative session has my blood boiling...

Shane in SLC said...

I was so pissed off by this that I made 50 copies of this letter and passed them around at the Beer Bar last night. But like Patti said, most of SLC's reps are Dems; they're likely to agree with us, but don't have much power in the leg. Hopefully people out in the suburbs, in Ogden and Park City, etc. are also contacting their reps.

It would've been better if we could have "mobilized the troops" while this bill was still in committee. But the good news is that even if it does pass the House today, it will still have to pass the Senate, and so far it doesn't even have a senate sponsor. So this is far from a done deal. Let's keep an eye on it, eh?

Ryan Harmon said...

I posted this on the Salt Lake City sub reddit as well to get more action.

Unknown said...

Posted this on Facebook. This made my blood boil!

kent said...

I've always considered myself reasonably intelligent however reading legislation makes me question that.

Can someone that understands this boil it down? E.G. Currently I can go to Epic and buy beer to go, if this passes I won't be able to do that? Or I can have a sample at Shades of Pale currently and if this passes I won't be able to do that?

Thanks
Kent

Shane in SLC said...

Here's the link to the bill:

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/bills/static/HB0228.html

I'm not a lawyer, but the language in this section seems pretty straightforward:

295 A brewery manufacturing licensee may not sell the following to a person within the
296 state except the department or a military installation:
297 (a) heavy beer; or
298 (b) a flavored malt beverage.

So, correct: Epic (or any other brewer) would no longer be allowed to sell beer directly from the brewery, but would have to go through the awful DABC system. Moreover, if I'm reading it correctly, small breweries like 2Row would be forced to build a kitchen and dining room and sell food, or... go out of business?

And: this bill now has a senate sponsor (the odious Jerry Stevenson), which is not good. I worry that my priorities are misplaced: this same bunch of yahoos are trying to cut funding for education, have blocked Medicaid expansion, and have other misplaced priorities likely to cause far more harm to Utahns than HB0228. But this one has really, really pissed me off. I went to Uinta's beer store today, and wondered why they weren't telling everyone who walked in to contact their legislators. How did this catch everyone so off guard?

jcstark said...

I thought places like Epic already work through the DABC system? I talked with my Rep yesterday who said this leg is more about expanding samples and would not limit sales on premises. The language of the bill is confusing. So I'm not sure what to think.

holly said...

In watching the video from Friday's discussion before circling the bill, the sponsor indicated it was to bring distilleries in line with the current rules for breweries and wineries. The food requirement was one of the reasons for circling the bill so that it could be amended and then discussed this week (of 2/21).

But the language Shane cites seems to say otherwise, unless sales on site are understood to still be sales to the DABC since sales are recorded and DABC gets their percentage from the manufacturer without having to physically move product back and forth? Maybe one of the breweries could speak to how the actual transactions are handled/viewed by DABC.