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Legislation to extend brewery hours voted down

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A Montana House panel rejected a bill on Feb. 8 that would have extended state brewery hours of operation by up to two hours. PHOTO COURTESY OF PEXELS.COM

EBS Staff

Rep. David Fern, D-Whitefish, recently proposed House Bill 185 which called for an extension of brewery operation hours, replacing the current 8 p.m. mandated closure with a 10 p.m. one. HB 185 applied to breweries that produce between 100 and 60,000 barrels of beer annually.

Fern argued an extension on brewery hours would increase revenues of local businesses and have a positive economic impact on the communities in which the respective breweries operate.

A Montana House panel ultimately rejected the bill on Feb. 8 in a 16-3 vote due to the fact breweries are considered manufacturers, not retailers. Brewery closure time will remain at 8 p.m.  

Joseph T. O'Connor is the previous Editor-in-Chief for EBS newspaper and Mountain Outlaw magazine.

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