Ohio State Rep. Dan Ramos floats bill to allow brewers to make beer up to 21 percent ABV

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Ohioans could soon be sipping slightly more alcoholic suds if one
state representative gets his way.

State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) introduced legislation on Monday to
allow brewers to produce and sell beer containing up to 21 percent
alcohol by volume.

Currently, Ohio law restricts beer sold or produce in the Buckeye
State to be restricted to 12 percent ABV. The last time the cap was
raised was in 2002 when legislators allowed it to grow form 6 percent
to 12 percent.

Ramos said he hopes the move will help continue the growth that Ohio
brewers have seen in the past couple years.

“The brewing industry is one of the few sectors that continued to
experience growth through the recession. It is time Ohio abandons
unnecessary regulations that put us at a competitive disadvantage with
other states and do whatever we can to encourage the further growth of
these businesses,” Ramos said in a release.

The legislator’s office said craft breweries provide an estimated
108,000 jobs nationwide and the industry has seen double-digit growth
over much of the last decade.

According to the Brewers Association, there are more than 2,000
breweries operating in the U.S. currently and the nation was on pace
to have more breweries open in 2013 than there are days in the year.

Ramos’ office said more breweries were operating in 2012 than at any
time in the 1880s, the previous height of the American brewing

Ramos bill calls for a one year delay period to allow in-state
business to brew beverages in the 12 to 21 percent ABV category to
compete with out-of-state brewers that offer similar products.

“With other higher-proof options already available on Ohio’s store
shelves, often at a cheaper cost to the consumer, this archaic
government regulation just doesn’t make sense,” Ramos said. “It
needlessly holds back Ohio brewers from having the freedom to
experiment with new products, a restriction not faced by brewers in
neighboring states.”

According to the legislator’s office, fewer than 10 states limit
allowable ABV and of Ohio’s neighbors, only West Virginia has set a

The bill Ramos is proposing was first introduced in 2011 with eight
co-sponsors. Ramos said that support has grown to 20 co-sponsors from
across the state.

The bill is set to receive a number and be referred to a House
committee for more review.


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