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



MORE Ohio legislation....Open Container for Everyone!

You are no doubt aware that the Ohio General Assembly has taken recent interest in the Ohio craft beer industry.  We reported on March 11 about OGA introducing legislation to create open container areas at Columbus' North Market, no doubt a worthy goal.  The open container bandwagon is getting a little more full.  Senator's Seitz and Thomas along with a host of co-sponsors introduced SB 95 which authorizes the creation of "outdoor refreshment areas" in cities and townships with populations exceeding 35,000.  The size of the outdoor refreshment area cannot exceed 320 acres or 1/2 square mile and must contain no fewer than four A-1, A-1-A, A-1c, A-2, or D liquor permit holders. 

The number of outdoor refreshment areas will be limited by city/township size.  Under the bill, not more than one (1) for cities between 35,001 to 150,000 population; not more than two (2) for cities between 150,001 and 275,000; and not more than three for cities over 275,000 people.  (Look to the most recent federal census for these "official" population numbers)

Here are the proposed restrictions:  No person can enter the premises of another establishment with an open container of beer or liquor purchased elsewhere; and no person may possess an open container while in a car within the outdoor refreshment area unless it is stationary or otherwise authorized (see, limos).  The transport of opened bottles of wine properly resealed is also still permitted.  Existing Dram Shop laws still apply.

OBC will monitor this bill as it moves through the Ohio legislature.