Life, Liberty and Distillation
Just like some brewpubs and farm wineries had to lobby for legislation in many state for the right to produce and sell alcohol, the new wave of micro distillers are finding they have to navigate through laws and regulations.
In Oregon, Rogue and other drinks companies have it fairly easy.
“The state of Oregon views fermentation as agriculture,” says Rogue founder Jack Joyce. “With our brewpub license, all we really needed to do was request an add-on for distilling or winemaking.”
Sam Calagione at Dogfish Head actually helped write the legislation permitting micro distilleries in his “small, business friendly state” of Delaware.
In Nebraska, Upstream Brewing Co. is set to become the first post-Prohibition distillery to open in the state after Gov. Dave Heinemann signed a bill into law in March that Upstream had pushed to permit micro distilling license.
Upstream now has a license that allows it to make up to 10,000 gallons of spirits annually and to sell the spirits at the restaurant where they will be made. Upstream’s distillery will be located at the company’s Omaha West Omaha location and will make vodka, gin, rum, brandy, whiskey, and fruit and beer liqueurs. The company’s first brewpub, in Omaha’s Old Market historic district, opened in 1996.