Maryland beer specialists not pleased with new brewery laws

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Don't expect many cheers from brewery owners over new laws that went into effect on Saturday.

The new laws overseeing breweries allow establishments to sell up to 2,000 barrels of beer annualy. That's up from 500 barrels before the change was made.

Breweries will also be allowed to purchase another 1,000 barrels from other breweries if they get the state's permission.

New breweries will be bound by new restrictions that will require them to close by 10 p.m. on the weekends and 9 p.m. during the week. Established businesses will be able to keep their operating hours.

Some brewers we contacted were not thrilled by the changes and the distribution rules now in place thanks to lawmakers.

They directed us to the following statement from the Brewers Association of Maryland in which they cited Governor Larry Hogan's misgivings with the passed bill, allowing it to become law without his signature.

“House Bill 1283 contains several troubling provisions, which will more than likely prove detrimental to Maryland’s craft brewing industry – hampering the economic growth, job creation and tax revenue it produces," wrote Hogan about the measure.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot testified against the measures earlier this year saying the distribution requirements that breweries will be held to regarding the beer they brew in house represent "crony capitalism."

The man behind the measures, Del. Talmadge Branch, has said the bill went through heavy debate and concessions leaving both sides wanting more.

Fans of breweries in Maryland envy the way wineries and breweries have flourished in Northern Virginia and hope laws prove to be business friendly, allowing more breweries to open up competition across Maryland.