Louisiana Breweries Hopping Mad Over New Regulations
Louisiana brewery owners say they are concerned about their industry’s future under new state regulations imposing requirements related to food sales and other issues that they warn could force some of them out of business.
Two weeks ago, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control issued an advisory that puts into writing things that often had been left up to interpretation. The decision came after several breweries received cease-and-desist orders restricting onsite activities like entertainment, food sales, and private events, which many operators assumed were permissible.
Among the new regulations: sales from a brewery's restaurant or kitchen cannot account for more than 25% of the breweries' beer sales, and restaurants are prohibited from striking a deal to exclusively sell one brewery's beer over the other.
The new regulations arrive just as the state is seeing a mini-boom in the growth of breweries. While Louisiana ranks 49th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia for the number of breweries per capita of adults 21 and older, the number of craft breweries in the state has risen from eight in 2013 to 30 this year.