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BREWING BOOM: Law Change Boost Sales

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Three years ago, lawmakers passed a bill increasing the alcohol content allowed in beers brewed in our state.

Since the law went into effect, nine new brew houses have started crafting new beverages.

It's the drink that brings people together, “I want beer. Beer is all about taste.” Local brewing companies are seeing plenty of drinkers bellied up to the bar.

“We just kind of enjoy beer and it`s a really great hobby,” says Karen Jones.

Just in the past two years, local breweries are becoming more popular and that’s a good thing according to Raccoon River brewing Companies Dave Coy, “We get asked a lot ‘is there too many breweries? Are you getting saturated in the market?’ And I say absolutely not. It’s like asking how many restaurants can you have in the community.”

Before 2010 Iowa brewing companies were only allowed to brew beers with up to five percent alcohol content. Anything stronger than that came from outside of the state.

"There were beers that people would be coming familiar with and expecting but we couldn`t brew as a local Iowa brewers,” added Coy.

But a law was passed in 2010 giving brew houses permission to make stronger beers, which people like.

“If you’re looking to get drunk knock back a couple of shots of vodka if you want to taste some good beer then that`s where microbreweries come in, right?” said patron Kim Robinson.

And it allows for breweries to be more creative, “It was like a relieve valve was let loose it was a huge opportunity to be more creative with beers and styles,” according to Coy.

Several new ones have opened because of it, like Exile Brewing Company, “The more local beer the more Iowa beer that`s being made and drank, the better it is for all of us,” says Austin Hoffman.

Locals say they don’t really care about the new law, “When it comes to my opinion about how the law changed about alcohol content, who cares who knows,” said Robinson.

Just so long as their cups are full.

Local brewers say the beer alcohol limit is now twelve percent.