Someone buy Governor Jack Markell a beer. Late last week, the Delaware governor signed House Bill 190 into law. He was joined by Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf, Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner Jack Cordrey and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Owner Sam Calagione, as well as members of the General Assembly and representatives from local wineries, brewery pubs, microbreweries and craft distilleries. The signing actually took place at Dogfish Head’s facilities in Milton, Del.
The bill is aimed at facilitating the growth of Delaware licensed farm wineries, brewery-pubs, microbreweries and craft distilleries by allowing them to expand their businesses within and outside of the state. The bill will also permit brewery-pubs to distill products that are not malt-based. Brewpubs can offer distilled products that are not malt-based and wineries can go past the amount of alcohol they were previously limited to — 14 percent. We quote DelmarvaNow.com:
“Delaware is the most fleet-footed state of anyone that I talk to where an entrepreneur idea can be sparked by consumer demand,” Calagione said. “Literally in months we can come together as legislators and business people to make those changes possible to keep our state on the forefront of being competitive.”
Calagione said the bill will allow for Dogfish to continue its distilling efforts. According to the article, last year Dogfish made the first spirit made 100 percent in Delaware, and the company is looking to bring it back in the fall, noting the brewery is still in the midst of a $52 million expansion. This is another great example of revamping antiquated laws that were made in the early part of the last century.
Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth Beach) said the former law was outdated and the bill will help the companies cater to supply and demand and reach new markets. “I don’t think anybody understood it,” he said about the law that was in place. “It’s a law that was probably put in place during prohibition.”
As a guest host for the Governor’s weekly message, filmed at Dogfish Head, Linda Parkowski, director of Delaware’s Tourism Office, discusses the importance of promoting the First State to tourists in the video above, while spotlighting craft breweries, wineries and distilleries.