Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed the bill eliminating the alcohol limit on craft beers.
The last time Ohio lawmakers increased the limit was in 2002, when it rose from 6 percent to 12 percent. That means Ohio breweries can't manufacture beers, like Utopias, that cater to craft beer enthusiasts.
Eliminating the cap would be good news for the 157 craft breweries operating in Ohio – one of the state's booming industries. Just a year and a half ago, Ohio reached 100 craft breweries, and that number could surpass 200 by the end of the year, said Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association.
Beers with higher alcohol content would be labeled.
Lawmakers say the move levels the playing field and makes Ohio even more attractive to smaller breweries like BrewDog, a Scottish craft beer company that's building its $30 million U.S. headquarters — including restaurant and taproom — in suburban Columbus.
A handful of beers BrewDog makes at its UK plant range from 14 percent to 28 percent alcohol.
BrewDog says its most popular high-alcohol beer is an American double imperial stout called Tokyo, with 18.2 percent alcohol.