136 16 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

COLUMBUS -- A Lorain lawmaker has re-introduced legislation that is intended to help Ohio's growing brewing industry by allowing the production and sale of beer containing up to 21-percent alcohol by volume (ABV).

"The brewing industry is one of the few sectors that continued to experience growth through the recession. It is time Ohio abandons unnecessary regulations that put us at a competitive disadvantage with other states and do whatever we can to encourage the further growth of these businesses," said Rep. Ramos D-Lorain.

More than 100,000 people are employed nationally by craft brewers. To bill calls for a one year delay period to allow Ohio businesses to create products in the 12-21 percent ABV category to compete with out-of-state breweries that already sell similar products.

"With other higher-proof options already available on Ohio's store shelves, often at a cheaper cost to the consumer, this archaic government regulation just doesn't make sense," said Rep. Ramos. "It needlessly holds back Ohio brewers from having the freedom to experiment with new products, a restriction not faced by brewers in neighboring states."

Nationally, fewer than 10 states limit the allowable ABV in beer and of Ohio's neighboring states, only West Virginia has a set maximum. Under current Ohio law, beer produced or sold in the state is restricted to 12 percent ABV. Ohio last raised its ABV cap in 2002, from 6 percent to 12 percent alcohol by volume.

This legislation was first introduced for consideration in 2011. It has gained strong bipartisan support with 20 co-sponsors from across the state. The bill is expected to be given a number and referred to committee for consideration.

Read or Share this story: http://on.wkyc.com/JDrOXx