Reduced Special Order Beer Pricing and New State Alcohol Laws Took Effect July 1

For Immediate Release: 7/3/2015 Reduced Special Order Beer Pricing and New State Alcohol Laws Took Effect July 1 Montgomery County’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC) has announced that effective July 1, the markup on wholesale packaged special order beer products has been reduced by 28.5 percent of the original markup. The change will allow licensed businesses to purchase special order beers, typically more obscure beers from smaller breweries, at lower prices, satisfying current consumer trends. The wholesale markup on special order beer is now consistent with the markup on special order wine, which was reduced a few years ago. DLC recently adopted an Improvement Action Plan to better serve Montgomery County businesses. The fee reduction is the first in a series of updates coming from the Improvement Plan. The markup reduction coincides with recent statewide alcohol law changes. Below are the new statewide laws, all of which took effect on July 1, unless otherwise noted: HB-88 (Chapter 61) – Authorizes the Board of License Commissioners to issue a refillable wine container permit for off-premise consumption. The permit is available to licensees with off-premise authority. There is no charge for this permit. HB-89 (Chapter 62) – Authorizes the Board of License Commissioners to issue a class BD-Beer, Wine and Liquor license. The license provides for beer and wine to be sold off-premise and for beer, wine and liquor to be consumed on premise. Food and alcohol ratios of 40/60 apply until 9 p.m. The license holder may also hold a class 7 Micro-Brewery license issued by the State Comptroller. Hours are from 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. daily for on premise consumption and 6 a.m. – 1 a.m. for off premise sales. The annual license fee is $3,500. HB- 90 and SB-426 – Alters alcohol license residency requirements from requiring at least one person on the license to be a Montgomery County resident, for the preceding two years, to allowing a resident of the State, for the preceding two years, to meet the requirement. HB-91 (Chapter 63) – For the town of Laytonsville, alters the license class that may be issued from two class H-Beer and Wine licenses to two class B—Beer, Wine and Liquor licenses. Also repeals a prohibition on pool and billiard tables, shuffleboard and dart boards, video games and pinball machines on license premises. HB-92 (Chapter 64) – Repeals a prohibition to allow the State Comptroller to issue a one day charity wine auction permit in Montgomery County. The fee is $10. HB-93 (Chapter 65) – Creates an exemption for the distance requirements for a license to be set back from a church or school when a one day class C license is issued for a church or school. This law takes effect October 1, 2015. HB-95 (Chapter 66) – Creates a limited exemption in Gaithersburg for a class B—Beer, Wine and Liquor license to be issued that meets certain minimum distance requirements from a church. HB-202 (Chapter 77) – Authorizes the Board of License Commissioners to issue a class D—Beer and Wine license, allowing on and off premise consumption, to the holder of a State class 3 Winery license provided the winery does not produce more than 20,000 gallons of wine per year. HB-316 (Chapter 85) – Removes a Takoma Park license designation from current licenses and provides for those licenses to be renewed or transferred to the general County license equivalent. SB-643 (HB 330) – Allows for the holder of a class 7 Micro-brewery license to obtain a second class 7 Micro-brewery license for another premise. Gallonage limits still apply. SB-937 (HB-1288) – Prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages that are sold in powder or crystalline form for direct use in combination with water or any other substance, with penalty. Effective June 1, 2015 with a sunset provision for June 30, 2016. HB-64 – Repeals a time limit within which a court may affirm, modify or reverse a decision by a local Board of License Commissioners. HB-526 – Creates a non-profit beer festival permit to be issued by the Board of License Commissioners. The primary purpose of the festival is to promote Maryland beer. The festival may be up to three days in length. The permit allows for both on and off premise consumption of beer. The permit fee is $100. For more information, call Emily DeTitta, Community Outreach manager at 240-777-1904 or email dlc@montgomerycountymd.gov. # # # Release ID: 15-265 Media Contact: Kathie Durbin 240-777-1917

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