The Great Falls Tribune is reporting that the Montana Revenue Department is backing off a plan to stiffen rules that regulate microbrewery tap rooms.
The proposed rule would have made it illegal for patrons who buy beer before 8 p.m. to consume it in the tap room after 8 p.m. It drew widespread criticism from brewery owners and craft beer connoisseurs.
Revenue Director Dan Bucks met Wednesday with members of the Montana State Brewers Association and agreed to table the proposed rule change.
Brian Smith, head brewer and general manager of Blackfoot River Brewing in Helena, said Bucks agreed to begin a negotiated rulemaking process with brewers and other interested parties.
“The concerns as voiced by the director today are certainly much different than the ones that showed up in the rule,” Smith said. “I think we have agreement to address this without impacting our ability to stay open beyond 8 p.m.”
According to the story, the law now allows brewers to serve up to 48 oz. of beer per person per day in their tap rooms between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Many breweries around the state allow customers who buy beer before the 8 p.m. cutoff to stay in the tap room and finish their pints, read the story.