Senate Bills 326 and 277 passed the Kansas Senate unanimously last month and have now moved on to the House. Both bills contain legislation affecting the production limits and manufacturing protocols for microbreweries in Kansas. Bordered by Colorado and Missouri (the original home of Anheuser-Busch) Kansas is often seen as playing catch-up to its neighbors and the bill recently introduced to the legislature would seek to change that perception drastically.
Senate Bill 326 deals with the production caps for Kansas breweries. Currently, Kansas brewers are limited to producing 30,000 barrels a year. HB2189 would raise that cap to 60,000. Considering both Colorado and Missouri both have NO production cap, the fact that a cap exists at all severely hampers the ability of Kansas brewers to compete out of state. The craft beer boom in Colorado has seen 106 breweries added in just two years. The economic impact of such a market in Kansas would be astronomical.
Senate Bill 277 would allow for Kansas microbreweries to produce hard cider, up to 100,000 gallons of it per year. Additionally, the bill would change the definition of "wine" to include hard cider. An interesting portion of SB277 states that 30% of the fruit used to make the hard cider must be from Kansas. Allowing microbreweries to expand their production is beneficial to both the consumer and the industry as a whole.
For Kansas breweries this means expanding businesses to compete. Whether adding a new location, contracting with an out of state distributor, or finding new sources for hops, an attorney can be a valuable asset. The Law Office of Nathaniel Gilbert works to support breweries, vineyards, and distilleries and help them make their mark on the industry. All consultations are 100% free and we'd love to hear about your business. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help your brewery be ready for the changing markets.