BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A bill passed by the Maryland legislature has the state’s comptroller angry.
Peter Franchot says a bill regulating small breweries is unfair and damaging to those businesses.
Attaboy Beer in Frederick started last year. Brian and Carly Ogden have sunk everything they have into the brewery and taproom.
“I’ll check the gravity every now and then just to see where the beer is in fermentation,” said Brian Ogden.
But it’s what fermented in Annapolis that brought Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot to Attaboy Beer. Specifically, what he calls backroom deal making.
“I was disappointed and astounded that the legislature passed a bill that will stifle the growth and success of Maryland’s thriving craft brewing industry,” said Franchot.
The bill will increase the number of barrels of beer a business can make to 2,000, but makes selling it off premises difficult.
And it will limit the hours beer can be sold from taprooms for new breweries, not existing businesses.
“You know that’s fine for us, but then that doesn’t help any new breweries,” said Carly Ogden. “It doesn’t push craft beer further.”
“For a small brewery, starting out in the beginning, you’re relying on selling directly to your customers,” said Brian Ogden.
The comptroller plans to form a beer task force to come up with new legislation to make Maryland more welcoming to small breweries.
“Reforms to our dysfunctional and antiquated beer laws are long over due,” said Franchot.
“This is our livelihood, so we’re definitely going to keep pushing forward,” said Carly Ogden.