A Job Well Done by Legislature in Forging Deal for Brewers [OPINION]
I’m occasionally critical of the South Dakota Legislature. I know that’s a shock to you all. But there are times when they get it right, straight up problem solving without fanfare or shouting.
That’s the case with the Brewer’s Bill, which passed the state Senate this week and is headed to the House. It could still go bad but since it's a compromise worked out by Senate Majority Leader Blake Curd and was originally proposed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, that seems unlikely at this point.
If passed, the new law would allow microbrewers to produce up to 30,000 barrels of malt beverages each year. The brewers can also have up to five taprooms and sell up to 1,500 barrels of beer through retailers and restaurants without going through a distributor. The deal was supported by the distributors -- who are licensed to sell the major brands of beer and other beverages -- and the brewers.
The existing caps are limiting the potential growth of the brewing industry in the state, specifically Fernson in Sioux Falls, which is larger than the other brewers in the state. Crow Peak in Spearfish is pretty big as well, but I don’t know the details of their business. Fernson also has a cool downtown tap room. As does Hydra, though I don’t know that they are butting up against the production limits.
The deal is good news. What I like best about this vote and the apparent deal that’s been cut is that everybody was able to come together and find a solution.
So kudos to the governor for bringing the issue to broad attention and Sen. Curd for brokering the deal.
I love it when things work, when it’s reasonable and forthright.
Oh, that we could do that with some other issues. Granted, it’s beer not abortion or guns, but still.
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