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Governor OKs bill to boost beer brewing
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AP

Governor OKs bill to boost beer brewing

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Blue Blood Brewing Co.

Blue Blood Brewing Co. on West South Street is the newest brewery on the Lincoln scene. (Jacob Hannah/Journal Star file photo)

The maximum number of barrels of beer that can be produced by a microbrewery or a brewpub would double under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman.

Currently, brewpubs and craft breweries have a production limit of 10,000 barrels of beer per year. The new law allows brewpubs to produce up to 20,000 barrels per year.

One barrel contains 31 gallons, or two kegs, of beer.

The state of Nebraska regulates beer manufacturing and monitors how much brewpubs can sell.

Currently there are 22 licensees with a potential barrel capacity of 220,000 barrels or 6.8 million gallons. The current tax rate is $0.31 per gallon. None of the current licensees produces at the 10,000 barrel limit.

The state received $122,207 in beer production taxes last year.

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Lawmakers passed a bill (LB780) Thursday that will double the amount of beer Nebraska microbreweries -- such as Lincoln's Empyrean Brewing -- can make and still keep their classifications.

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