Makes you wonder if Montana is next.
Silly, old, antiquated laws like the one that apparently did in Oregon’s homebrewers recently are a waste of time and money. Read all about it in this AP report.
The inclusion of prohibition-era laws in our modern world is a travesty that will cost states like Oregon and Montana potentially millions of dollars in revenue, and yet liquor laws are only now starting to be reviewed and rewritten.
If a state looked at its bottom line and realized what role craft brewers, many of whom got their start as homebrewers, play in the economic well being of said state, they’d instantly reform the laws and wipe away the antiquated alcohol laws that penalize businesses and keep hobbyists from practicing their art. Most state leaders are only now waking up to the realization that craft beer, wineries and micro distilleries are a potential windfall for them. And yet it’s a complete nightmare to navigate the current system.
Look at these Oregon statistics from the Editor’s Note in the most recent edition of Portland Monthly Magazine:
“According to industry sources, craft brewing contributed an estimated $2.33 billion to Oregon’s economy; winemaking a mere $1.4 billion.”
Okay, so it’s not a fair comparison to Montana, but we have, or did at last look, the most breweries per capita of any state in the union, and we tend to consume craft beer a little more than anyone else in the country. So there is no reason the Montana craft breweries couldn’t contribute a significant amount of cash to Montana’s coffers. Except those antiquated, prohibition-era laws that continue to plague the industry to this day.
Can you imagine of Jurgen Knoller, founder of Bayern Brewery, could produce more than 10,000 barrels a year and keep his tap room? The tax revenue for the state would be huge. Same goes for Tim O’Leary at Kettlehouse. What if Big Sky Brewing Company could have an actual tap room and continue to send great Montana beer across the nation? A boon for this state for sure. But we continue to be influenced by an old Tavern Owner’s Association lobby that utilizes old and antiquated laws to keep the brewers under their thumb.
Wake up Montana, it’s time to taste the goodness of craft beer in the can, the bottle, the growler and in our state pocket book.