Look for a new wave of mini brewpubs to open in New Hampshire soon! This morning the Governor signed HB 253 into law. The bill removes the 4 ounce restriction on over the counter sales by nanobreweries, provided that the brewery also prepares and serves meals.
The bill was a bi-partisan effort, the primary sponsor was Tim O'Flaherty (D) Manchester, with co-sponsors Michael Garcia (D) Nashua and Mark Warden (R) Goffstown.
Along the way to passage, the bill changed several times and went to a committee of conference to resolve differences in the House and Senate versions. A previous bill, HB 262, passed in 2011 and led to more breweries opening in New Hampshire than at any equivalent period in the state's history.
I had an interesting time working to support both bills on behalf of the New Hampshire Brewer's Guild. Alex from Earth Eagle Brewing and many others attended hearings and helped the bill to pass.
The House Commerce Committee enthusiastically supported HB 253, which passed on the consent calender March 6th. The bill goes into effect on September 24th.
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