If you’ve been paying any attention then you know there are three bills in the Maryland legislature that will help grow the Maryland craft beer industry. One of those bills, Senate Bill 226, will allow brewers to provide samples and sell their beers at farmer’s markets and county fairs, but not in AA County.
Beer is an agricultural product, and Maryland has seen growth in both barley and hop production as a result of craft beer growth. Providing samples and sales at farmer’s markets and agricultural events will help to establish and strengthen a consumer connection to beer as a product that actually comes from the land.
Yesterday I talked to members of the Maryland Senate who stated that Senate Bill 226 was written primarily for PG County. That’s great for folks in PG, but I want to be able to act like a hipster too and fill up a growler of beer at Annapolis farmer’s markets. I would also love to see Maryland craft beer samples alongside the homebrew competition at the AA County Fair.
I have been in touch with Senator Ed Reilly, and with Senator Pinksy’s office, to get some clarification and advocate for AA County. Senator Reilly is now trying to get Anne Arundel into the bill, and expects there to be no problems. Voting on this, and the other craft beer bills, should be happening soon. I will post an update once the results are out.