Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nebraska increases production rates with new bill

I am sure many of you saw this last week and apologize for just posting it now but here is the AP press release.

LINCOLN, Neb. — The maximum number of barrels of beer that can be produced by a microbrewery or a brewpub would double under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman.
Currently, brewpubs and craft breweries have a production limit of 10,000 barrels of beer per year. The new law allows brewpubs to produce up to 20,000 barrels per year.
One barrel contains 31 gallons, or two kegs, of beer.
The state of Nebraska regulates beer manufacturing and monitors how much brewpubs can sell.
Currently there are 22 licensees with a potential barrel capacity of 220,000 barrels or 6.8 million gallons. The current tax rate is $0.31 per gallon. None of the current licensees produces at the 10,000 barrel limit.
The state received $122,207 in beer production taxes last year.

So what do you think?  I think it is great news but honestly, why do we have a production cap at all?  It appears it is a limit on brewpubs and craft breweries but not macro breweries?  I assume this is an archaic law that was established after prohibition to keep the big boys happy locally, like Falstaff.  I don't know that for sure and I am not going to research it but that seems logical.  So that is great that they doubled the production capacity but why didn't they just eliminate a limit at all?  Am I missing something?  It seems to me that this would seriously impact trying to get a craft brewery to maybe centralize their beer production here so shipping would have shorter distances to haul, but with a cap no one would even look.  I realize that that is probably a pipe dream from an economic development standpoint and from a craft beer standpoint as the concentration of drinkers is on the coast because that is where the concentration of people are but it is worth a consideration don't you think? 

Something to think about, we would like to hear your thoughts, this is obviously a positive but could they have done more?   Why didn't they?

1 comment:

Gdog said...

Is there a minimum production requirement for NE?