by Ramona du Houx
A measure to strengthen and grow Maine’s burgeoning craft brewing industry was enacted by the Maine Senate today.
The bill, LD 102, “An Act To Strengthen the Craft Beer Industry,” increases the maximum number of brewing partners a licensed brewery can enter into a tenant-brewery partnership from one to nine.
“The marketplace is asking for this change. The demand for Maine’s craft brewing industry is exploding--and this measure is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland, the sponsor of the bill. “Giving larger breweries the ability to fully utilize their manufacturing facilities helps small brewers and entrepreneurs take the next step toward a successful, profitable business.”
During the 126th Legislative session, Senator Alfond passed a bill (LD 1548) to legalize these “alternating brewing partnerships” that allow large breweries to share equipment and supplemental employees with a tenant-brewer while retaining the independence of the tenant-brewer with regards to recipes, materials, quality control, packaging, shipping, record keeping, and compliance. The bill came as a result of legally aligning a tenant-brewer relationship between Peak Organic Brewing and Shipyard Brewing.
Since the passage of LD 1548 last year, Shipyard Brewing has been approached by other craft brewers seeking a similar arrangement to Peak Organics; however, under statute, Shipyard is limited to only one tenant-brewer. If passed by the full Legislature, LD 102 would remove that restriction.
During the committee’s discussion of the bill, Republican State Representative Jonathan Kinney of Limington thanked Senator Alfond for putting forth a good “economic jobs bill.”
The bill LD 102, “An Act To Strengthen the Craft Beer Industry,” will now go to the Governor for his signature.