On Monday, Governor Lynch signed HB 262, also known as the Nanobrewing Bill, into law in New Hampshire. According to Erin Glass at the Brewer's Association, this makes New Hampshire the first state in the US to recognize nano brewing as a separate category of brewery. The annual license fee, which is $1200 yearly for a beverage manufacturer, is lowered to $240. Previous restrictions on the amount of beer that can be sold for off premise consumption (formerly 1 case per person per day) were removed. The state of New Hampshire Liquor Control Commission no longer determines the size and shape of tasting rooms for nano breweries, and allows sales for on premise consumption without a restaurant attached, albeit in tiny quantities---which we hope to fix next year. It's a step for beer freedom, and we're looking to expand on that. We're hoping to make New Hampshire the go to state for home brewers who want to turn their hobby into a profession. The text of the bill as passed is here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2011/HB0262.html
some bits were added by amendment after the hearings had completed, and we didn't get everything we wanted. However, we have learned how the process works, and we've also learned that beer is a bi-partisan issue---legislators like beer too.
In conjunction with the Informal University, I'm teaching a class for those interested in starting a nano brewery. It covers brewery design, siting, zoning, local, state, and federal laws and paperwork, sourcing materials (we have NO grain distributors in New Hampshire, if you need a business idea!), financing, and distribution---plus oodles of experiences in losing money, so you don't have to. The link to the School of Beer is here: http://informalu.org/Course.php?course_id=46
Mongo, (AKA Kevin)
Candia Road Brewing Company and the New Hampshire Brewer's Guild