Rhode Island Beer Industry Boosted Through Regulatory Changes

Beer has long been beloved by Americans and Rhode Islanders are no different. But for years, state residents have remained stiff-armed in their consumption of beer by strict regulations that limited just how much they were allowed to consume and buy at Rhode Island breweries.

Recent Changes Greatly Increase Business

Recent changes in Rhode Island law are helping to contribute to the explosive growth of the craft beer industry. According to WPRI-TV, the Rhode Island state Department of Business Regulation found that since lawmakers passed a 2016 law allowing for breweries to sell products coming from their own plants, the number of microbreweries in the state has almost quadrupled. The General Assembly had voted to allow distilleries and breweries to sell limited amounts of their products to plant visitors for purposes of off-site consumption; before then only wineries were allowed to do that. The state maximum is now eighteen 16-oz. cans.

By 2017, according to the Rhode Island Brewers Guild, 26,000 barrels of craft beer were made. This is equivalent to 8.5 million 12-oz. cans.

New Laws Loosen Previous Standards

Some of the recent regulatory changes in the state include a law earlier this year that called for the elimination of sales tax on kegs for brewers, and a law that reduced the alcoholic beverage manufacturing and licensing fee from $3,000 to $500.

Many of the local brewery owners feel that these new laws that have loosened standards have made the state more business-friendly when it comes to the beer and alcohol industry.

State’s Laws Proved Outdated

According to Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation Director, Liz Tanner, many of the state’s post-Prohibition liquor laws were outdated. “We just needed to take a look at them and make a change to reflect todays’s customer,” Tanner said. She feels that these changes have been great for small businesses, tourism, and manufacturing.

The state’s liquor laws are only one example of states that the Department of Business Regulation has been assessing in order to remove unnecessary burdens for various small business owners within the state.

“We have lots and lots of things just like that that are a direct result of outreach to businesses and we’re looking for more,” she said. “We’d like to do one every year if we can.”

How We Can Help

If you or your loved one is a business owner searching for answers to any laws or regulations that are plaguing your business, it is important to fully understand what you are entitled to. To learn more, for a consultation call PALUMBO LAW. Our attorneys can help to advise you of your options. We provide legal services in almost every area of Business Law, including assisting in the proper choice of business entity, business formation, buy-sell agreements, and contract and lease negotiations and drafting.