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Maryland Deals Blow To Breweries With New Regulation

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

Maryland’s House of Delegates passed a new bill that deals a major blow to breweries in the state.

The legislation slashes operation hours from 12 am or 2 am EST to 9 pm on weeknights and 10 pm EST on weekends. Under the new law, Maryland breweries are also restricted from selling any beer in their taprooms not produced at the brewery. That includes collaboration beers made with other breweries, Washington City Paper reports.

While most of the legislation appears to be bad news for breweries, there is one bright spot. The bill lifts the cap on the amount of beer a brewery can legally sell in its taprooms from 500 to 2,000 barrels. Breweries now just have to figure out how they can sell an extra 1,500 gallons with 2-3 less hours of time.

The legislation comes on the heels of a major announcement for Maryland’s brewery scene. Ireland’s Guinness Brewery announced its plan to invest $50 million to build a brewing facility in Baltimore County, Md., last January. Guinness will reportedly focus on beers it can sell in the U.S. market, and will continue to make its flagship stout in Dublin.

DCBeer, a Twitter-based news outlet dedicated to beer news in the beltway, is taking the time to show consumers who might be angry with the Maryland legislation how they can fight back. “Not sure what to say when you call your senator? No problem. Be polite and follow this script. A minute isn’t too much for #mdbeer,” DCBeer posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

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