Brewers approve of beer bills heading to Fallin

Posted at 7:09 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-27 20:09:24-04

TULSA- Brewers across Oklahoma are raising a glass, after two liquor bills passed this week at the state capitol.

Inside Marshall Brewing's taproom in Midtown Tulsa you can get a pint of beer, but only if it is low-point. If Governor Mary Fallin signs senate bill 424 though, the rules would change. 

Marshall's founder Eric Marshall believes the bill would lead to an economic boom.

"For the tourism aspect, it brings people in," Marshall said. "For a longtime, 'oh, Oklahoma you're one of those 3.2 states. This gives people the ability to come and now see and visit and take a six pack home with them."

The governor's signature would allow breweries to sell their high-point beer on the same property as the brewery. Customers would be able to order a pint in a taproom for example, or grab a growler or six-pack to take home.  

Down the road from Marshall at Dead Armadillo Brewing, the brewers there are also celebrating SB 424.

"It really feels like we are really supported right now," Todd Phillips of Dead Armadillo said. "There is a lot of support for what we are trying to do."

Phillips believes giving brewers the opportunity to sell high-point beer straight to their customers, will lead to more breweries opening throughout the state. He said profits will increase for breweries, most of which are small businesses, as they won't have to rely on distributors as much.

"I know a lot of people right now have bugs in their ears about chasing that dream," he said.

Dead Armadillo has been building a taproom attached to their brewery, with the plan of opening it to the public later in 2016.

With the passing of SB 424, it could now lead to them selling their full lineup of high-point beers.

"What that means for us in a real sense, we get to have that one-on-one relationship with people that enjoy our products," Phillips said. "They can come to our facility, talk to us about the beer and have it while they're here."

Which for beer lovers, means they can also taste local beer at its freshest moment and straight from the source.

"To have the experience and create the craft culture where they come to the local brewery to hangout, talk to the guys and see what is going on," Marshall said. 

Lawmakers have also sent senate bill 383 to the governor for her signature. That bill would allow for the sale of cold beer and wine in stores, other than just liquor stores. 

Grocery stores and convenience stores for example would be able to stock strong beer.

"The colder our beer is stored and the better temperature control you have over that product over the life of it, the fresher it is and the better it tastes," Phillips said. "So it is a big win for us as far as how our product is treated from when it leaves our facility until you open that can or have that draft beer."

SB 383, if signed by the governor, would then be put to a state-wide vote in November.

SB 424 would take effect later this year if signed by Fallin.  

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