Ohio craft brewers are creative folk. Like others in the industry, they blend unique ingredients to create intoxicating brews that open up the senses and defy beer expectations. They are only limited by their brewing imagination … and the 12 percent alcohol-by-volume cap that doesn’t allow beer above the limit to be sold in Ohio. But State Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, is hoping to change that. Rep. Ramos plans to unveil a proposal to raise the legal limit on the amount of alcohol allowed in beers sold in the state — all the way up to 21 percent.
This is good news for creative brewers and beer drinkers looking for their next craft fix, but passage of the legislation won’t be easy. The Ohio Beer Blog reported that similar legislation has been proposed before, but has failed to pass. As the craft beer industry grows in Ohio, the opportunity for state tax on additional craft beer revenue is not lost on the politicians.
“ … We see this as good for state tax revenue, as consumers won’t cross the border into a neighboring state with less prohibitive restrictions to purchase similar products, and good for business as it allows the industry to continue to grow and distribute its products across the state and country,” Dan Ramos, legislative aide to Rep. Ramos, told the Ohio Beer Blog.
Columbus resident Topher Michael has started an online petition to support the movement to raise the ABV in Ohio.
“Currently, the cap in which beer can be sold in the Great State of Ohio is at 12 percent ABV. The people of the Great State of Ohio believe that this cap is completely arbitrary. It does not in any way define a beer,” Michael said in his petition statement. “Today, brewers are using all kinds of creative ingredients to create amazing beer. Also, there are a lot of brewers who want to brew and sell super-high gravity beers in the State of Ohio. This cap on beer is stifling small businesses and hurting Ohio’s economy.”