Representative Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, continues to push legislation that would increase the maximum ABV for beer from 12% to 21% to modernize Ohio’s antiquated beer laws with H.B. 68. Neighboring states of Kentucky and Pennsylvania have no limits while Indiana limits beer to 21%.
This bill and other variations have been circling Columbus for years but it appears that the current group of legislators may finally be ready to act. A committee testimony hearing will be held on June 23rd and beer industry professionals are invited to attend to speak about their support for the bill.
All other supporters of the bill are encouraged to contact their local Representative to declare their support for a bill that will continue to drive Ohio’s thriving brewing industry.
Use the the link below to quickly find your Representative and send them an email.
Why It Matters
There are a few reasons why this increase makes sense for the State of Ohio.
First, from an economic perspective it keeps Ohio tax revenues in state. There will be less travel to neighboring states to pick up highly sought after beers that exceed 12% ABV. We also saw the Stone Brewing East-coast brewery slip away from Columbus. Although, BrewDog will help fill that void (just don’t try to brew any Tokyo).
Second, it allows Ohio’s very talented brewers to be more creative when developing their recipes without worrying about ABV. There are many great beers in the 13-18% ABV range produced outside our state. More extreme malt bills and spirit barrel treatments can have an effect on the final alcohol content but create memorable flavor profiles.
Third, the current laws are antiquated and nonsensical. Raising the ABV limit on more limited production and generally more expensive beers will not lead to an increase in alcohol abuse. Some delicious 17% bum wine can be easily scored at nearly any gas station or thirsty folks can grab their favorite 40 proof plastic bottle vodka at Kroger.