Iowa Distilleries Look to Even the Odds
By Joseph Huisinga
SWISHER, IOWA — Iowa continues to see more breweries and wineries but craft distillers have faced some extra hurdles that they say are holding the industry back.
When you go to an Iowa winery or brewery you’re welcome to a drink but if you go to a craft distillery you better not be thirsty.
“We can pour free samples and we can give free tours but we can’t charge a customer for a drink here,” Says Jeff Quint founder of Cedar Ridge Distillery.
State law prohibits distillers from serving their own spirits or selling more than 2 bottles a day to a single customer, it’s a rule that has many asking why?
“I see no rational explanation why we would allow microbreweries and wineries to sell on their premises and draw a line and say no micro distilleries you can’t,” says Iowa Representative Ken Rizer
Aside from getting a drink, Iowa has limits on production that distillers say put them behind surrounding states.
“Most distilled spirits are made from corn,” says Quint. “It seems like a natural industry for Iowa to cultivate.”
Iowa House File 2402 would do just that but not everyone is in support.
“This bill has some pretty powerful opposition,” says Rizer, explaining that large beer producers and distributors are concerned about competition.
The bill would allow distillers to sell drinks and more bottles at their business, it would also raise production limits from 50 to 100,000 proof gallons.
The bill passed two house sub committees with ease but Quint and Rizer say the bill was then removed from the House debate schedule with little explanation.
Now distillers are hoping it gets back on the docket before this secession runs out.
View entire story here: CBS2/ FOX 28 | Iowa Distilleries Look to Even the Odds