Indiana craft brewers raise a glass to lawmakers’ vote of approval

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INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 18, 2015) - Indiana craft beer lovers will raise a glass to this.

The Senate Public Policy Committee unanimously voted Wednesday to increase the amount beer microbrews can distribute each year.

The problem?

Several Indiana breweries, like Sun King and 3 Floyds Brewing, were close to making too much beer as dictated by state law. Sun King even stopped distributing outside of central Indiana.

The measure passed Tuesday would triple the amount a brewery can distribute to 90,000 barrels a year. It will allow breweries to keep their identity, like tasting rooms and their own distribution. A compromise as part of the deal will have breweries work with distributors after 30,000 barrels are produced.

“Craft brewers, and Indiana brewers in particular, are small business people who live in the state, work in the state and create jobs in the state,” Clay Robinson said, owner of Sun King.

Robinson said the estimated economic impact of Indiana’s 100 small brewers was about $600 million in 2013.

“So local beer has a huge effect on the local economy,” he said.

State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) and chairman of the Senate Public Policy Committee called Wednesday’s vote historic given the approval from all entities.

“That’s how good government should be,” he said. “We sat down and had our debates and arguments and disagreements outside and finally came together.”

The measure still needs full Senate approval.

Sun King and 3 Floyds Brewing said they've already invested in expansion plans.

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