Bartenders all around Ohio will be tapping new brews after legislation passed Wednesday that eliminates the state’s previous 12.0% alcohol content restrictions in beer.
The lifted restrictions put Ohio in line with neighboring states without ABV caps, and will allow Ohio to more fully compete in the craft brew marketplace, according to lawmakers.
Furthermore, Ohioans can now enjoy a beer in open air at markets around the state, such as the North Market here in Columbus, or Cincinnati’s Findlay Market.
Lawmakers say the bill doesn’t promote inebriation because high-ABV beers are expensive, and meant to be sipped, rather than chugged.
The bill has now passed both houses of the state legislature and is headed to the Governor’s desk.
5/12/16: Senate votes unanimously to lift ABV cap on beers
Good news for craft brewers and beer lovers: the Ohio Senate unanimously voted to completely eliminate the alcohol cap on beers.
Currently, beers sold in Ohio aren’t allowed to have an alcohol content greater than 12 percent, but this bill would change that.
Proponents said the new bill would create a more “business-friendly” environment in Ohio, especially given the fact that our neighboring states already don’t have limits on alcohol content in beers.
Senate President Keith Faber wasn’t concerned about Ohioans getting too drunk, largely due to the price of high-ABV beers.
“If you are out to get intoxicated, there are much cheaper ways to do it,” Faber said.
The bill now heads to the House, where it is expected to pass.
5/2/16: New laws would allow higher ABV in beer, restaurants at distilleries
Is Ohio entering a new, boozier era?
Ohioans are petitioning the state legislature for their right to get turnt, and lawmakers have been pretty receptive so far.
Craft brewers are lauding a new law that would potentially eliminate Ohio’s current cap on alcohol in beer, which sits at 12%, while small-batch distillers are equally enthusiastic about a proposal that would allow the sale of food and drink at micro-distilleries.
Brewers say elimination of the cap on a beer’s alcohol content would spur economic growth and help Ohio compete with neighboring states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky that don’t have limits on a beer’s ABV.
Distillers say allowing the sale of food and drink at micro-distilleries would help the industry compete with small-batch wineries and brewers, which are already allowed to do so. The proposal would also raise the amount of liquor distillers are allowed to sell per year.
Supporters say the current restrictions on both industries are archaic, and don’t reflect the current state of the craft booze industry.
Legislators seem to agree, with the distilling regulations bill (House Bill 351) passing through the House 94-2 last week
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