We already know there is some controversy surrounding the question, “What is craft beer?”
But now there could be controversy regarding an even broader question: “What is beer?”
In California, anyway.
Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed off on Assembly Bill 205. This will change the definition of “beer” to include varieties fermented with ingredients like fruits, sugars and spices.
Local news quoted Peter Hoey, co-founder and brewmaster at Urban Roots Brewing and Smokehouse, as supporting the California beer legislation.
“Beer was defined as a serial malt beverage, so anytime you added fruit you started to get into wine territory,” he said. “That required a separate license to be able to ferment fruit sugars…. So the challenge for breweries was you’re not allowed to concurrently hold a wine license and a beer license.”
How Brewers Benefit
For craft breweries constantly in search of ways to brew more innovative beer, this legislation could open up some doors.
The California Craft Brewers Association supported the bill, an effort to bring California up to speed with how federal law already defines beer.
“This actually kind of recognizes what our guys have been doing, saying that it’s not just wine, it’s our beers, too, that use these ingredients to make the world’s best beer,” said Sean Hamlin, Government Affairs Manager for the California Craft Brewers Association.
For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has helped corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.