Nevada Craft Brewers Association and Revision Brewing Company Endorse Senate Bill to Increase Production Limits in Nevada

Yesterday, the Nevada State Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy passed Senate Bill 130 (SB 130) through committee, allowing this important legislation to move forward for a floor vote before the full state senate. The Nevada Craft Brewers Association and Revision Brewing Company expressed their appreciation for the bipartisan group of legislators who voted the bill through, particularly Senator Kelvin Atkinson (D-Las Vegas), Chairman of the Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee, as well as bill sponsor Senator James Settelmeyer (R-Gardnerville). Now, SB 130 must gain support from the full senate, followed by the state assembly and then ultimately approval from Governor Brian Sandoval before it becomes law.

SB 130 will raise the cap on the amount of beer that brew pubs in the state of Nevada may produce. Matt Johnson, President of the Nevada Craft Brewers Association and cofounder of IMBIB Custom Brews Says, “SB 130 paves the way for all Nevada craft breweries to grow resulting in bigger contributions to the economy and further job growth.” The list of breweries supporting this bill is ever growing with the most boisterous backers being Nevada’s oldest brewery, Great Basin Brewing Company and Nevada’s newest brewery, Revision Brewing Company. The breweries in support believe that this bill will be beneficial to both Nevadans and breweries alike.

Currently, Nevada brew pubs are limited to a production limit of 15,000 barrels of beer (one barrel is equal to 31 gallons or two full-size kegs). Senator Settelmeyer proposes to increase the total amount of beer that a brew pub can produce, while at the same time, protecting the three-tier system which was implemented after prohibition. SB 130 proposes to set a limit on the amount of beer that may be sold through the taproom of a brew pub to 10,000 barrels and to set a total production limit of 30,000 barrels of beer that may be sold through distributors.

The three-tier system creates a separation of ownership from the supplier (brewery), distributor and retailer (bar/liquor store) and creates an effective means for taxing alcohol sales. In the mid 1900’s most states adopted laws allowing suppliers to have onsite tasting rooms without onerous
production limits. Unfortunately, Nevada was not one of those states.

Tom Young, Founder and Brewmaster of Great Basin Brewing Company, has long been recognized as the pioneer of craft beer in Nevada and is a passionate backer of SB 130. In 1991, he lobbied with home brewers and others to legalize brew pubs in the state. With success, Tom opened Great Basin Brewing Company in Sparks, Nevada in 1993. Twenty years later, in 2013 he lobbied to increase the production cap for the rest of the state to equal the 15,000-barrel limit that had been set for Clark County. Nevada Craft Brewers Association member, Tom Young is once again at a point where the push for new legislation is necessary for growth.

Another supporter of SB 130 is Jeremy Warren of Revision Brewing Company. In 2010, Jeremy Warren founded his former brewery, Knee Deep Brewing Company out of his garage in Sparks Nevada. After a few brews and some market success, Knee Deep moved its operations to California where the market and laws were much more embracing to small craft breweries. Upon the success of developing beers like Hoptologist, Simtra and Breaking Bud, Knee Deep exploded onto the national beer scene. In 2015, Jeremy sold his shares of Knee Deep and started Revision Brewing Company.

Revision Brewing Company opened this month in Sparks, Nevada. With the brewery already having secured distribution agreements in multiple states, it is forecast to hit the 15,000-barrel limit within a few years. Consequentially, if SB 130 does not pass, Revision Brewing Company would be faced with having to close its taproom or move future production out of state if the brewery wishes to grow beyond 15,000 barrels.

The Nevada Craft Brewers Association, Great Basin Brewing Company, and Revision Brewing Company firmly believe that supporting this bill will benefit Nevadans in multiple ways. SB 130 supports the three-tier system which helps grow the business of local distributors. Raising the production cap for local brew pubs also benefits Nevadans by bringing in more tax revenue to the state. Local breweries that distribute beer out of state bring revenue back to Nevada. Additionally, having more beer available for out of state distribution, nationally highlights the ever-growing craft beer scene in Nevada, adding one more reason for people to visit this great state. Please reach out to your Nevada State Senator and Assemblyman or woman to show support for SB 130 and Nevada’s craft beer industry.