As a general rule, any alcohol regulations that were originally devised in the Great Depression/temperance era should probably be looked at with fresh eyes in 2018. This happened in Illinois last week as freshly signed legislation updated regulations originally set in place by the Liquor Control Act of 1934 that will give craft breweries in Illinois a little more room to grow both physically and in the bottom line.
“This legislation removes antiquated regulatory barriers that have stifled the growth of smaller craft brewers and limited beverage choices for consumers who visit their taprooms,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “Craft beer production is a growth industry in our state, and this will help ensure its continued success.”
First, the antiquated restrictions regarding on-premise sales of outside beers and ciders has been removed. Illinois brewers can now sell their own beer to other Illinois breweries to sell directly to customers in their taprooms.
Second, the bill creates the Brewer Warehouse Permit that will allow brewers to expand using warehousing and storage facilities instead of opening second locations or moving to larger spaces. The permit will allow for Class 1 and Class 2 Brewers to transfer and store, at an off-site warehouse within 80 miles, as much as 930,000 and 3.72 million gallons, respectively, of beer that the brewery manufactured.
“The craft brewing industry is growing every year across Illinois with wonderful, unique beers for consumers to enjoy in all regions of our state,” said Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield. “These changes help ensure everyone can continue to explore and learn about our local breweries and support our local small businesses.”
“There is a tremendous sense of community among Illinois craft breweries,” said Matt Potts, founder, CEO and brewmaster at DESTIHL in Normal, Ill. “This law allows our breweries to tap into that community even more, promoting collaboration, selling one another’s craft beer and giving our patrons more of what they want.”