“We’ve made big plans for what we were going to do,” local brewers react to AG’s opinion on tap room law

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OKLAHOMA CITY-- Attorney General Scott Pruitt handed down a big opinion in favor of beer breweries Tuesday.

The battle is now over between the local brewing industry and the state agency that enforces alcohol laws in Oklahoma.

The two were at odds last week when the ABLE commission said a new law was unclear, and local brewers worried their investments would be derailed.

After a last minute hurdle, those in the craft brewing industry call the AG’s opinion a big victory because come Friday, they can sell strong beer out of their taprooms and packaged beer out of their buildings too.

Jerod Millirons and Dave Monks have poured their heart and soul into the Iron Monk Brewery in Stillwater.

Since they opened, under Oklahoma law, they could only serve low-point beer or provide no more than a 12 oz. glass of high point beer to customers in their tap room.

“The favorite beer that they try, they can`t actually purchase and take home with them,” Millirons said.

A new law to change that hit a snag last week when the ABLE commission said it wanted the attorney general to help interpret the law Governor Fallin signed in May.

“It was very stressful, all of us small brewers in the state, we’ve made big plans for what we were going to do,” Monks said.

The AG’s opinion Tuesday sided with the brewers and what the bill’s authors say they wanted.

“In this particular situation, I disagreed vehemently with the lack of clarity. I thought we had written it pretty clearly you could have on site consumption…Nobody likes surprises. People have made significant investments in communities around Oklahoma,” Rep. Williams said.

Those investments are back on track now and coming to fruition. The bill’s authors say they’ll work with the ABLE commission to implement the new law.

The brewery law goes into effect on Friday.

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