We posted some information on Twitter and Facebook today regarding House Bill 205, so we figured we would cover all our bases and include the info here too. An amended version of HB205 was jettisoned out of the House Rules Committee today and assigned to the House Executive Committee. The committee is scheduled to meet on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Thursday is also the deadline for House bills to be moved out of committee. We’d tell you that it is “now or never” for this piece of legislation, but the speaker of the house has extended the deadline for certain pieces of legislation in the past and could be moved to do so again, if need be.
As for the aforementioned amendment, on Friday we told that the bill had been altered, dropping the barrel limit for breweries that want to self-distribute from 60,000 barrels to 20,000 barrels. This amendment directly addresses a concern of the Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, who oppose the legislation. They felt that 60,000 barrels was far too high to constitute a “small brewery”. They also oppose allowing brewpubs to distribute their own beer.
As soon as we find out when this bill will go before committee we’ll be reaching out to a group of lawmakers that sit on the House Executive Committee to urge the passage of HB205. And we would like you to do the same. Passage of this bill out of committee would be the first step in a long road towards making, not just Chicago, but Illinois a craft beer destination now and in the future.