Madison alters policy on brew pub production and bottling - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison alters policy on brew pub production and bottling

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MADISON (WKOW) – The Madison City Council has altered its ordinance regulating brew pubs.

State law limits brew pub production to 10-thousand barrels a year. Operations licensed as breweries are not bound by a production limit but are limited to two locations. Brew pubs can run up to six locations per license.

Madison law previously limited brew pub production in the city to 5-thousand barrels per year. The city council recently increased the limit to 10-thousand barrels to coincide with state law.

Madison's revised policy regulating brew pubs also includes a provision allowing machine-capping of beer bottles.

Brew pubs in the city who bottle their beer were previously limited to bottling by hand.

Scott Manning, of Vintage Brewing Company, said manual bottling more or less limited breweries to producing their product in large, plastic containers called “growlers,” which have screw-on caps.

“If we bottle right now it's by hand,” Manning said. “Part of that is because we don't have space for a packaging facility.”

“But it's exciting to think part of our business model in the future could be mechanical packaging,” he said.

Rob LoBreglio, of the Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company, said the new policies are good news.

“The two, new aspects of the law work together,” he said.

“A brew pub would have a very difficult time growing beyond 5-thousand barrels a year via its own, in-house beer sales,” LoBreglio said. “But by wholesaling its beer it does have that potential.”

Neither Vintage or the Great Dane is currently close to producing 10-thousand barrels of beer annually at a single location.

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