The Thirsty Beagle: Governor signs SBs 383, 424

Monday, June 6, 2016

Governor signs SBs 383, 424

Can we go ahead and declare Thursday, Aug. 25 to be #OKBeerDay?

That's the day Senate Bill 424 will go into effect, after Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed the bill into law.

SB 424 allows Oklahoma's craft brewers to sell beer produced at their breweries directly to the public, either for on-premise (pints, etc.) or off-premise (bottles/cans/growlers) consumption.

It's hard to overstate how huge of a deal this is for Oklahoma craft brewers. Think about how most six packs of beer go from anywhere from $8 to $12 at your local liquor store. That's anywhere from $1.50 to $2 per bottle, and that's after at least two levels of mark-ups before the beer goes from brewer to consumer. You can pretty easily see the economic advantages of selling one beer for $5 or $6 right out the brewery.

SB 424 also will likely give us exclusive brewery-only bottle releases, insane pint nights, more jobs, more beer tourism and ultimately more breweries.

So all in all, it's a pretty big deal.

Now, there were some questions on social media today about when SB 424 would go into effect and also how it interplays with Senate Joint Resolution 68 and Senate Bill 383.

(By the way, SB 383 was also signed into law by Fallin on Monday, although it does not go into effect unless SJR 68 is passed by voters in November.)

As some savvy political insiders have noted, SB 424 had an emergency date of July 1, but the legislature did not approve the emergency clause. The bill did not include any other date. By rule, any bill with no specified date goes into effect 90 after the adjournment of the legislative session -- not 90 days after the governor signs it, as some have speculated.

The legislature adjourned on May 27, and 90 days after that is Aug. 25. And you can bet Oklahoma's craft brewers will have some crazy stuff ready to roll out on that date!

In terms of SJR 68 and SB 383, they do not directly relate to SB 424. It is true that the gains for craft brewers won in SB 424 are also included in SB 383. Sen. Stephanie Bice has said the main intent of SB 424 was to score some immediate wins for craft brewers prior to the possible implementation of SJR 68/SB 383 in October 2018. And of course it also creates a better landscape for craft brewers should SJR 68 not be passed by voters.

So, mark Aug. 25 on your calendar -- by my count it's only 80 days away now.

Pints and Pins

-The complete events schedule for Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week 2016 was released today. You can check that out right here. Looks like it will be a great week!

-Republic is hosting an Oskar Blues Beer Dinner, set for Tuesday night. Looks like a solid lineup featuring a four-course "backyard barbecue" paired with a selection of Oskar Blues beers. You can get your tickets here.

-McNellie's-OKC is holding an Anthem Beer Dinner on June 21. Four courses, four beers -- you can email to reserve a spot.

-Black Mesa today announced the release of a new beer, and one you don't really see very often in today's craft beer world:

Black Mesa's new Altbier will be released at 5 p.m. on Thursday at TapWerks Ale House. Here's a little write-up from the Black Mesa guys about the beer:

"With a 3,000 year brewing tradition along the Rhine River in Germany, Altbier is possibly the oldest continually brewed style in the world. "Alt" or "old" refers to the longer conditioning time required to achieve the supremely mellow balance of cereal malts and brisk hop bitterness. At 4.9% ABV don't overthink this one, just get to a patio. You can call it "Alt" to impress your friends. Like the original brewers, we just call it beer."

-Skinny Slim's Edmond is hosting a Destihl Pint Night on Thursday, set for 5:30 p.m., and including special glassware.

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