Neb. Senators Eyeing Ways to Expand Craft Beers

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Small, independent beer breweries could have an easier time gaining a foothold in Nebraska if some lawmakers have their way.

Three state lawmakers have introduced a legislative study to see what the state can do to help craft breweries expand.

The study will examine whether self-distribution could help startup breweries succeed. It also will examine how they're taxed relative to larger brewers.

Lawmakers will also look at a beer check-off program to promote Nebraska-made craft beers, and a possible truth-in-labeling requirement intended to keep major companies from portraying their beer as locally made products.

Last year, Nebraska passed a law that doubles the production limit of microbreweries to 20,000 barrels of beer per year. One barrel contains 31 gallons, or about two kegs of beer.