Maryland Class 5 Brewery Sales Bill Awaits Governor’s Action

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Awaiting gubernatorial action, House Bill 1283 seeks to make the following changes to the sampling and sale of beer by a Class 5 brewery: Beer that is sampled and sold on-site or at a brewery promotional event, must be fermented and brewed entirely at the brewery and under the trade name of the license holder; a brewery may serve, at no charge, samples of beer consisting of a total of not more than 18 ounces of beer per day. A brewery may sell 2,000 barrels of its beer each year for on-premises consumption, instead of the current 500 barrels; a license holder may also apply to the Comptroller to request permission to sell up to 1,000 additional barrels under specified circumstances; and a holder of a Class 5 brewery license and an appropriate permit or license for on-premises consumption may only exercise the sales and serving privileges until 10 p.m. seven days per week, except for existing breweries and active applicants, whose hours are grandfathered to existing law (current allowable hours). Contract brewing is expressly authorized and beer owned by the brewery or its affiliates (if the brewery owns another brand or brewery) but brewed at other locations to be sampled and sold for on/off-premise consumption at the brewery. On-premise consumption of contract-brewed beer is limited to 25% of the total beer served for on-premise consumption. This allows for collaboration beer and other beer brewed off-site for which the licensee owns the brand to be sold/served at the brewery.

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