Craft beer drinkers could pull up a stool and have a pint at Maryland production breweries this summer under legislation passed by the House of Delegates on Saturday.
House Bill 4, sponsored by Eastern Shore Republican Dels. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio and Adelaide C. Eckardt, was approved 131-o. The bill would allow holders of a Class 5 brewer license to sell a certain amount of beer for on-site consumption. Presently, such licensees can only offer six 3-ounce samples and sell beer for off-site drinking.
A dozens breweries across Maryland — including Evolution Craft Brewing Co. and Eastern Shore Brewing, both of which operate in areas represented by Haddaway-Riccio and Eckardt — would benefit from the bill.
So would state coffers. According to state fiscal analysts — who admittedly take some liberties in guessing how much beer might be sold and at what price — new combined sales and alcohol tax revenue could reach almost $60,000 a year.