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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (December 11, 2017) – As a statewide coalition of brewers, consumers and stakeholders gear up for the effort to modernize Maryland’s antiquated and dysfunctional beer laws, Comptroller Peter Franchot today launched a petition drive in support of his proposed Reform on Tap Act of 2018.
Comptroller Franchot announces this new petition drive with the goal of collecting a minimum of 6,541 names – representing the total number of jobs the craft beer industry supports in the state, according to a recent study conducted the Maryland Bureau of Revenue Estimates.
The results of this petition drive will be announced on February 1, which is the traditional kickoff of “FeBREWary” – Maryland’s official month-long celebration of craft beer. Marylanders can sign the petition by going to the Comptroller’s website, marylandtaxes.com. Petitions will also be distributed at events and breweries across the state.
“Marylanders from across the state and across every demographic overwhelmingly support reforming our laws to allow our homegrown craft brewing industry to grow and become the national leader,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “This petition drive will once again re-affirm the fact that Marylanders want this state to be supportive and welcoming of these family-owned small businesses and manufacturers that do so much for our communities and our state’s economy.”
Surveys have consistently showed Marylanders overwhelmingly support the craft brewing industry and updating Maryland’s antiquated laws governing the production, distribution and sale of Maryland craft beer.
A recent online survey taken after Comptroller Franchot released the Reform on Tap Act showed that 93 percent of respondents believe that Maryland’s laws for brewers are too restrictive. Additionally, more than 92 percent of respondents feel that there should be no limits on how much beer a brewery can produce or sell in its taproom.
The Maryland craft brewing industry had an overall economic impact of $637.6 million and supported or created 6,541 jobs in 2016, according to an economic impact study conducted by the Bureau of Revenue Estimates that was released earlier this fall.
The study found that when the sale and distribution activity of non-Maryland craft beer is included in the projection, the estimated economic impact grew to $802.7 million. The industry contributed $53.1 million in state and local revenues and $55.3 million in federal revenues, which directly supports investments in education, public safety, transportation and the environment.
In 2016, Maryland craft breweries directly employed 430 workers and had an indirect and induced effect on 264 jobs, yielding a total of $28.4 million in wages and generating $143.7 million in economic output, according to the study.
Both alcohol distributors and retailers (bars and restaurants) also greatly benefited from Maryland’s craft brewers, with a direct, indirect and induced effect on almost 6,000 jobs, about $200 million in labor income and nearly $500 million in economic activity, the report found.