Craft beer bill in the House, like Senate companion, dead on arrival
If you’ve gotten your paper copy of this week’s Mississippi Business Journal, you noticed the giant mug of beer on the cover. Looks good enough to drink, doesn’t it?
Anyway, it teases our story inside about a bill Sen. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, authored that would raise the maximum alcohol content in beers made and sold in Mississippi from 5 percent alcohol by weight to 8 percent ABW. Check it out. There’s some pretty interesting stuff about the economics of craft beer.
A few hours after the MBJ went to press last Thursday, similar legislation dropped in the House. Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, wrote the House bill, which was referred to the Ways and Means Committee. Like its companion in the Senate, the House bill doesn’t sound likely to gain much traction in an election year.
“I don’t think its chances would be good this year,” Moak said Monday morning. “Neither side is going to want to deal with anything related to alcohol this session. There’s just too short a window after we’re done with the session to go back home and thoroughly explain something as potentially explosive as an issue like this.”
Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Percy Watson, D-Hattiesburg, said he had not had a chance to read the bill as of Monday morning, but said that it most likely would not make it out of his committee, should he even choose to introduce it.
“This just isn’t a good year for legislation that deals with alcohol,” Watson said.
Not surprisingly, it will be at least next year before legislation like this gets a serious look, a fact Raise Your Pints and other grassroots organizations pushing it are resigned to.
“But we’re going to fight until this happens,” said Raise Your Pints President Butch Bailey of Hattiesburg.