Baltimore County News
Business-friendly approach would support large and small brewers, local bars and liquor stores
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz sent the following letter today to Senator Joan Carter Conway, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs, urging state lawmakers to strike a balance between large and small breweries throughout the State with House Bill 1283. The text of his letter is below:
April 3, 2017
Honorable Joan Carter Conway, Chair
Education, Health and Environmental Affairs
2 West Miller Senate Office Building
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Re: Class 5 Breweries’ Legislation (HB 1283)
Dear Chairwoman Conway,
As you know, Diageo announced its intention to build a US version of Dublin’s popular Guinness Open Gate Brewery in southwest Baltimore County. The Company plans to build a mid-sized Guinness brewery and a Guinness visitor experience with an innovation microbrewery at the company’s Relay site. This new brewing capability and consumer experience, combined with a packaging and warehousing operation, would bring the company’s investment in Relay to approximately $50 million and create up to 70 new jobs. The new brewery would be a home for new Guinness beers created for the US market. Visitors would be able to tour the working brewery, sample experimental beers brewed on-site at the taproom, and purchase Guinness merchandise at the retail store, creating a major tourism attraction for the region.
Diageo is seeking legislative changes to accommodate their investment. Different groups have weighed in on the best way to accomplish these goals. I offer the following thoughts:
1. Increase barrels. The craft brewery industry all seem to favor an increase.
2. Allow craft breweries the right to sell their other products, even if not manufactured on site.
3. Let local law establish hours of operation. This avoids the current conflict.
We believe allowing the growth of craft breweries will enhance the demand at local bars and liquor stores. Because the selection at the taphouse is limited to beer, it will not compete with establishments offering a full selection of beverages.
Baltimore County Government supports the Diageo project in Relay as well as the craft breweries throughout the State. Thank you for your efforts to clarify this legislation.
Very truly yours,
Baltimore County Executive
cc: Honorable Members, Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs
Honorable Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. President of the Senate
Honorable Michael E. Busch, Speaker of the House
Honorable Dereck Davis, Chair, Committee on Economic Matters
Honorable Members, Baltimore County Senate and House Delegation
Dwayne Kratt, Senior Director of Government Affairs at Diageo
Kevin Atticks, Executive Director of Brewers Association of Maryland