Ohio Beer Counsel
Information and Commentary on the Issues Facing Ohio's Craft Beer Community, Breweries and Distilleries - Brewed by the Craft Beer Lawyers of Bruns, Connell, Vollmar & Armstrong's Brewery & Distillery Practice Group



Enjoying a Full Bar and Food in an Ohio Distillery May Become Reality

Over the last several years, Ohio passed a number of new laws which directly helped propel it into one of the up-and-coming powerhouses in craft beer.  Ohio Representatives Rick Perales (District 73) and Anthony DeVitis (District 36) recently introduced legislation that may just help propel Ohio's burgeoning craft distilling scene.

On October 1, 2015, HB 351 was introduced in the Ohio House with 2 goals.  First, increase the yearly manufacturing limit on craft distillers from 10,000 to 200,000 gallons.  Second, give craft distillers the same benefits currently enjoyed by wineries and breweries - selling beer, spirits and food at the distillery.

An increase in the yearly production to 200,000 gallons would hopefully encourage not only the establishment of new craft distilleries, but the expansion of current ones.  For instance, Ohio has recently seen Middle West Spirits, Watershed Distillery and Belle of Dayton expand through physical footprint and/or distribution

As for allowing craft distillers to serve a full bar and food at the distillery, there is no reason to deprive them access to the A-1-A permit enjoyed by Ohio wineries and breweries.

Many bills are introduced in the Ohio General Assembly that never make it out of committee. Hopefully HB 351 gets the support it deserves and helps equal the playing field between craft brewers and distillers in Ohio.

Contact OBC with questions.