Proposed taproom regulations cause Colorado breweries and restaurants to face off

Brewery

The Colorado Legislature introduced a bill this week that seeks to increase regulations on the state’s growing number of taprooms and breweries.  Relatively standard, House Bill 1217 would require any brewery looking to sell their beers on site to notify local authorities of their intent and local licensing authorities would then have 30 days to submit comments to the state which would be considered in the decision to approve or deny the taproom’s license.

Yet while the bill wouldn’t grant local authorities any new authority to approve or reject applications, the Colorado Restaurant Association, or CRA, has entered into the discussion looking to possibly amend the bill to include more protections for local restaurants.  

Claiming that the growing number of Colorado food trucks have begun partnering with local taprooms  that have adversely affected nearby restaurants, CRA president and CEO Sonia Riggs has argued that any location selling alcohol on site should be subject to the same regulations governing taverns and bars.  Riggs hopes to work to amend the bill to implement such changes and has already begun asking for taprooms to collect signatures from local communities and to offer food to customers as bars are required to do.  

Yet brewers have countered with the argument that restaurants and taprooms run separate business models and breweries are already subject to separate limitations and requirements, such as serving only the beer that the brewery produces and the requirement to get approval of their beers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Read more on the ongoing legal battle between Colorado’s breweries and restaurants here