He chairs a task force developing changes to the laws covering the industry.
Frederick, Md (KM). They may not have “rolled out the barrel” as the line from the song “Beer Barrel Polka” states, but brewers and hops growers welcomed Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot on Wednesday at the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick.
Franchot, whose agency regulates the alcohol industry in Maryland, had a lot of praise for the craft brewing industry in remarks he made to the audience. “This is a great form of manufacturing jobs. It boosts the reputation of the state because Flying Dog is sold all over the world,”:he said.
The Northeast Hop Selection was a gathering of brewers and hops growers who sniffed and sampled hops used in the production of beer. It was also a chance to build relationships.
Franchot is chairman of the Reform on Tap Task Force which is looking for ways to changes Maryland’s outdated laws which he says stymie the craft beer industry. He said one law passed during the last General Assembly Session regulates the way brewers provide free samples of their products to visitors, and when they sell beer away from the brewery. “And it created all sorts of concerns about the future of the craft brewing industry in Maryland,” he said. “I have appointed a task force to do a full colonoscopy and examination of the states antiquated, out-of-date beer laws,” he said.
The task force hopes to have some recommendations to present to the General Assembly in 2018. “The reforms that we recommend at the end of this year to the Legislature, if enacted by the Legislature, will make Maryland the number-one state in the United States—the number-one state in the entire country–for appreciating, welcoming and supporting craft brewers,” says Franchot.
He hopes lawmakers will look upon these recommendations very favorably. He noted that Frederick County State Senator Ron Young is a strong supporter of the craft brewing industry.
By Kevin McManus