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Politics and Government

New Law Allows Craft Breweries To Sell Full Strength Beer On Site

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Beer drinkers will be able to drink full-strength brews at bars inside a brewery under a bill signed into law this week by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. The law will go into effect Aug. 25.

Under the new law, Senate Bill 424, brewery bars will be able to sell glasses of cold full-strength beer, and customers can take home bottles, cans and growlers, according to a report by Brianna Bailey in the Oklahoman.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, who said Oklahoma’s current alcohol laws are outdated.

“I think that Oklahoma has antiquated laws dealing with liquor and because we consider strong beer to be a liquor, we were hindering that market,” Crain said.

Zach Prichard is the president of Choc Beer Co. and the Craft Brewers Association of Oklahoma, and he believes the state’s local beer industry will benefit from the law. Prichard said neighboring Arkansas and Colorado have both experienced growth in their beer industries, but Oklahoma’s restrictive alcohol laws have left the state behind.

For one thing, it will make it easier for new brewers to get started and become profitable, Prichard said. The new law also will make it easier for craft brewers to experiment with small batches of beer for limited release that customers can purchase on-site, he said. “I think you are going to see more brewers and you are going to see more creativity and expansion from the existing brewers,” Prichard said.

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