Indiana May Be Next State To Recognize Craft Distillers – UPDATED

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indianacapitol***UPDATE***

Lawmakers in the Indiana House of Representatives voted 91-8-1 in favor of the legislation. The bill now moves to the Indiana Senate.

***END UPDATE***

We know lawmakers in Indiana have bent over backwards to help craft brewers in the state. Now they’re looking to help out – and recognize – craft distillers.

House Bill 1293, which was introduced last month, would create an “Artisan Distiller’s Permit” in Indiana.

Under the proposal, a distiller could produce up to 10,000 gallons of liquor a year, not counting booze that is sold through a distributor. They could also provide samples to customers, pour full drinks in-house and sell their liquor by the bottle or case to-go. However, if they want to serve at the distillery they’ll have to offer the minimum food requirements to legally do so.

Right in line with the spike in local craft breweries, we’re seeing more and more local distillers emerge. A number of small batch, craft distillers have popped up in Illinois after the state created a similar permit. And one particular Michigan brewery has seemingly cornered the market on craft beer inspired spirits in that state.

Holland, Michigan based New Holland has created spirits which include a whiskey steeped with Centennial hops, a whiskey produced by distilling the brewery’s pumpkin ale and a bourbon aged in beer barrels – a reversal of the popular bourbon barrel aging of beer.

Here’s the full synopsis of the legislation, provided by the Indiana legislature:

Synopsis: Artisan distiller’s permit. Creates an artisan distiller’s permit for a person who desires to commercially manufacture not more than 10,000 gallons of liquor in a calendar year (excluding the amount of any liquor sold through a liquor wholesaler). Allows an artisan distiller
to do the following: (1) Manufacture, blend, bottle, store, transport, and sell liquor to a wholesaler. (2) Serve complimentary samples and sell liquor to consumers by the drink, bottle, or case at the artisan’s distillery. (3) Hold an interest in a farm winery permit or microbrewery
permit. Provides that the holder of an artisan distiller permit may be: (1) an individual; (2) a firm; (3) a corporation; (4) a partnership; (5) a limited partnership; (6) a limited liability company; (7) an incorporated or unincorporated association; or (8) other legal entity. Provides that an applicant must do the following to be eligible for an artisan distiller’s permit: (1) Hold a farm winery permit, brewer’s permit, or distiller’s
permit for the three year period preceding the date of the application. (2) Not have more than one violation of the same alcoholic beverage law during the three year period immediately preceding the date of the application. (3) Not have a violation of any alcoholic beverage law
during the year preceding the date of the application. Provides that the holder of an artisan distiller’s permit that provides samples or sells liquor by the glass must furnish the minimum food requirements prescribed by the commission. Allows the alcohol and tobacco commission to collect an annual $250 permit fee for a biennial artisan distiller’s permit. Provides that a percentage of the artisan distiller’s permit fee is deposited in the enforcement and administration fund and
the state general fund. Makes conforming amendments.

If this bill becomes law it would take effect on July 1st of this year and would carry an annual permit fee of $250.

The bill has passed a House committee and awaits a vote before the full Indiana House of Representatives.

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Ryan

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Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.