Beer Guy: An Open Letter to Florida Brewers

Beer Guy: An Open Letter to Florida Brewers

Intuition Beer Works, Cigar City, and many others, I’m looking at you.  CigarCity

Every time I check the news, some other legislator in Florida is trying to pass a law to screw you; Growlers, or the lack thereof; the “sanctity” of the Florida three tier system (and the need to buy your own beer back from the distributor in order to sell it); and…well…all sorts of ridiculousness.

I have a message for you.

Maryland is not California, Portland, Colorado, or North Carolina, but we’re getting there. Unlike your legislature, ours has been passing more and more craft-brewery-friendly legislation. We recently saw self distribution pass for breweries under a certain size, we saw the legislature work with local breweries and farms on a farm brewery license, and there are other bills being considered.

Seven years ago there were little over 20 breweries in Maryland. Right now, we have 40, and we’re growing – Frederick County alone already has six, another is due to open this summer and another two are in the planning stages. We would welcome you with open arms.

We have welcomed other transplants – Flying Dog and Evolution both opened their doors in other states before moving here. And they have thrived.

Flying Dog is at an all-time high in production, and Evolution is heading towards maximum capacity for their brewery.

The Old Line State can be a new home for you. A significantly more brewery-friendly home. A home where the legislature, while not perfect in its efforts to aid our brewing industry, is significantly friendlier to your interests than the Florida legislature is.

We understand that you opened your breweries in Florida because it’s your home, because it’s in your backyard. But we have a vibrant craft beer scene with avid fans of the art, and we are open to helping you make a new home here.

We love our breweries, and the more we have in the state, the stronger our lobby…your lobby in the legislature becomes. Here, in Maryland, your voice will be heard. The legislation you’re looking for might not get passed the first time through our state government, or compromises might have to be reached in regards to the legislation, but our state representatives aren’t hellbent on passing laws that will cripple the growth of the craft beer industry.

If the laws working their way through Florida’s House make doing business as a craft brewer untenable in your state, look to Maryland. This is a place where you can grow and thrive.

Sincerely,

Maryland’s Craft Beer Scene

Tapped and Uncapped

 ODAbbeyAleWhile there are plenty of Florida beers that I have enjoyed, and would love to recommend (in an attempt to keep with the theme), precious few can be found here in the Old Line State (although a few lovely ones are available down the road in Virginia). As such, I’m going to take this opportunity to chat up Old Dominion Brewing’s newly released Abbey Ale.

The OD/Fordham Brewery in Dover continues to improve as it recovers from its brief period of ownership by AB. The Abbey is a worthy addition to its line of beers, pouring a rich amber color with a thick head that quickly dissipates.

This is a pleasant, refreshing beer that starts off with a little sweetness on the tip of your tongue, and finishes with a little bit of dryness as it slips down your throat. A solid 3.5 out of 5 rating – for fans of the American take on Belgian abbey ales, this is worth taking the time to find.

Until next week, be well and drink good beer.

Slainte.