Here's a brief update on beer related items at the Montana Legislature for Tuesday, January 22, 2013.
HB 58, creating a brew-on-premise license, easily passed the House by a 70 to 29 vote and has been transmitted to the Senate for its consideration. Along the way, the bill was amended to clarify that a licensee was prohibited from selling beer or allowing the consumption of alcohol on the premises. That last one is tough to take. I have no idea how brew up a batch of homebrew without cracking one open during the process (which might also explain some failures). The license fee was also dropped from $400 to $40 and the renewal fee dropped from $200 to $20.
HB 204, creating a new license for a boutique beer and wine shop, is scheduled for its first hearing this morning at 8:30 a.m. before the House Business and Labor committee. It would allow traditional bottle shops and limited tasting events. For details on this bill, see our story from last week.
[UPDATE: At the committee meeting Tuesday morning, Representative Clark, the bill's sponsor, asked the Committee to table the bill without a hearing and the Committee honored her request. No word yet on the reasons why.]
Representative JP Pomnichowski has a bill ready to be introduced which would allow limited wine tasting events by persons holding a table wine license for the sale of wine for off-premise consumption. The bill is identified as LC 1125. A license holder could conduct up to twelve tasting events during the year. No limitations on the amount of wine served are proposed. (The boutique beer and wine license would limit tasting events to one ounce pours and a maximum of ten samples.) However, only those establishments which derive more than one-half of their annual revenue from the sale of wine would be permitted to obtain a license to hold tasting events. We've asked Representative Pomnichowski why beer is excluded from this bill, but have not received a response.
For all our articles pertaining to the 2013 Montana Legislature, click here.