Bills on tap for Maryland microbreweries

(WJLA) - It was just four years ago that Paul Rinehart started doing professionally what was once just a hobby as a teen: brewing beer.

It’s a love he says has become an art – as well as a money maker.

His Rockville brewery, Baying Hound Aleworks, is what they call a "microbrewery." It is run out of a warehouse, measures approximately 12,000 square feet in size, and brews three to four barrels a week.

Right now, Rinehart says that although customers can sample the beer, his brewery cannot serve more than just samples. Soon however, Maryland legislation could change that.

The bill would allow Rinehart to serve pints for consumption without the brewery being forced to get a restaurant license.

"Being able to do on-premise consumption and on-site distribution, we're finally going to be able to expand and get that even larger equipment and really make a name for ourselves," he says.

A second bill would also allow his small brewery to distribute beer to local shops.

"That would help us tremendously, because that would cut the middle man out," he explains.

Rinehart says this would also allow him to build relationships with his customers – the liquor stores – as well as do some quality control. He is distributing the beer himself and wants to make sure it gets to the shelf without any damage to taste:

"Temperature changesthe amount of potholes a truck goes overit can really damage the beer."

At Denizens Brewing Company, they’re hoping these bills pass. Still under construction, owners of the Silver Spring brewery say they’ll be able to benefit from being able to finally distribute their beer:

“"This allows us to create more jobs both in manufacturing and salesand also allows us to maximize the beer we can produce, which is great."

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