Monday, February 25, 2013

Artisan distilling: Legislative loosening and other flanking maneuvers.

Even a cynic like me must doff his chapeau in recognition of the political artistry involved in moving the "artisan distillery" bill past Bill Davis, who is as ardent and unapologetic a prohibitionist as Carrie Nation ever dreamed of being.

State may loosen rules for micro-distilleries: Bill could help small entrepreneurs capitalize on growing demand for ‘locally grown’ drink, by Maureen Hayden (CNHI Statehouse Bureau via Pharos-Tribune)

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana General Assembly isn’t ready to let Hoosiers buy booze at a grocery store on Sundays, but lawmakers may be willing to loosen up the state’s tight alcohol laws for artisans who craft beer, wine and spirits.

Legislation to allow Sunday sales of carryout alcohol from retail stores died in the House last week. But several other alcohol-related bills are making their way through the legislature, all aimed at helping small entrepreneurs capitalize on the growing demand for “locally grown” drink.

They include a bill that would allow farm wineries to sell their products directly to retailers and a bill that would let the makers of craft beers sell their products at farmer’s markets and trade shows.

There’s also legislation aimed at relaxing Indiana liquor laws to allow the creation of micro-distilleries that would specialize in producing small batches of bourbons, whiskey, vodkas and gins.

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