CURRENT BILL STATUS:
We’re excited to announce that Senate Bill 297, authored by Senator Ron Alting, has been signed by the Governor! When the new law goes into effect July 1, 2015, Indiana’s craft breweries will be able to produce up to 90,000 barrels of beer each year, while still operating their restaurants and tasting rooms. This means that craft beer enthusiasts like you will be able to enjoy more Indiana craft brewed beer in more locations throughout Indiana, while local businesses will have even better opportunities to thrive within their respective communities.
The previous law restricted the growth of popular craft breweries like Sun King and 3 Floyds, the two largest production breweries in the state. Owners of both breweries sincerely thank the thousands of Hoosier craft beer lovers who participated in the Support Indiana Brewers Campaign and helped push Senate Bill 297 across the finish line.
Recently, Sun King Brewery made the difficult decision to cut ties with distribution partners because at the current, maximum legal rate of production they will be unable to even meet demand for their beer in central Indiana throughout 2015. Producing more than 30,000 barrels – a limit set forth by state law – would have dire consequences to their business. Exceeding the limit would eliminate their ability to operate a tasting room and distribute their own beer close to home, two things that have been major drivers of their success.
Sun King’s goal is to continue to grow as demand dictates, create more Indiana jobs and make the best beer possible, while selling it all in Indiana.
Sun King has gone from 5 full time employees at the end of 2009 to 58 full-time employees at the end of 2014, plus over 60 part-time employees.
Large beer companies like Budweiser or Miller/Coors’ don’t have a brewery in our state, therefore they don’t provide jobs or benefits to our local economy as the small independent Indiana Craft Breweries do.
3 Floyds currently employs 66 full-time employees in Indiana and 17 part time workers. Their brewpub is a draw for beer tourists from all over the world.
Upland Brewery employs 75 full time and 65 part time workers.
The other 95 small breweries in Indiana provide employment to upwards of two thousand Hoosiers across our state.
The craft industry in Indiana had an estimated economic impact of $609 million in 2013.
Indiana has been one of larger growth states in both number of breweries and volume of beer produced over the last 5 years. We have gone from a “fly over state” in craft beer to a “destination state” bringing a large agri-tourism industry to fruition. There are nearly 100 craft breweries in Indiana today versus less than 40 five years ago.
Next year 3 Floyds plans to invest more than $10 million on expansion efforts. Sun King hopes to invest more than $9 million on an additional brewery and improvements to their current facility. Upland Brewery invested over $5 million in their new brewery last year. This only takes into account 3 of Indiana’s largest brewers and with dozens of new breweries in the planning or build out stages, the investment by Indiana’s small brewers is substantial to say the least.
The future is in Craft Beer and Small Independent Brewers!
In Indiana, beer sales from the two biggest craft breweries only account for 1% of all beer sales. Not surprisingly, Budweiser and Miller/Coors, all of which are owned by large multinational corporations, account for over 85% of all beer sold.
What might be surprising is that the 1% produced by Sun King and 3 Floyds equates to the maximum amount of beer they are legally allowed to produce and distribute in Indiana, while still operating a Tasting Room and/or delivering their own beer. The previous law in Indiana made it very arduous for small breweries to attempt to compete with the big guys.