I’m just a bill.. yes I’m only a bill…

After brewing a quick Hef this morning, Annette just left for Concord, where she will once again provide testimony in support of House Bill 262.  This proposed bill will, among other things, provide small brewers with more support in getting started, such as:

  • reduced fees,
  • the ability to serve at the brewery without having to have restaurant hours (yes!), and
  • the removal of some of the quantity restrictions currently in place.  (Note- breweries are limited to selling 1 case or 1 5-gallon keg per person per day).

In essence, this bill will try and implement some key changes that give small brewers a greater chance of being successful.
In case anyone is interested, here is Annette’s written testimony in favor of House Bill 262:
support House Bill 262 because it will help to facilitate small business owners’ entry into the brewing industry. The key components of the bill, which are to reduce fees for small breweries and to provide additional revenue options through both on- and off-premise sales, would allow small breweries better chances at success and growth, especially at the start up phases of a brewery when it is so critical. In turn, this success and growth will be fed back into the local community, creating a positive economic effect for other New Hampshire businesses.
The start up of my brewery, Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, has already been a boost to our local economy through the use of local contractors to prepare the brewery space for production. And as the brewery becomes operational the local economy will continue to be enhanced:

  • The brewery sources much of the raw ingredients for making its beer from New Hampshire farmers;
  • It uses local professionals to provide financial, legal, design, and accounting services; and
  • It buys other materials, such as labels and merchandise, from New Hampshire companies.

The reduced license fee is much more equitable in comparison to the fees required for similarly sized entities in wine manufacturing.
The ability to responsibly serve beer at the brewery provides a much needed source of direct income for a small business. It also provides the potential prospect of drawing people to the area by creating additional tourist destinations.
Additionally, I am requesting that an amendment to House Bill 262 be considered. This amendment would allow a licensed beverage manufacturer (including nano brewery licensees) a similar option to sell its products at farmers’ markets, as is currently allowed for licensed wine manufacturers.
The proposed language is as follows and would be applicable for both beverage manufacturer and nano brewery licensees:
A holder of a beverage manufacturer license (or nano brewery license) may transport its products to a farmers’ market, and may sell such products at retail in the licensee’s designated containers.”
This amendment would provide New Hampshire’s beer manufacturers the same opportunity that our wine manufacturers currently enjoy. Additionally, the sale of beer at the farmers’ markets provides a great way to connect with the community and build those important longer term relationships, enhances the variety of local products available at the markets thus potentially drawing more people to them, and allows us to celebrate the agricultural aspects of beer, especially those that are directly related to our local farmers who work so hard to grow the ingredients.