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Brewer bill passes House, lifts investment restrictions | Business

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Brewer bill passes House, lifts investment restrictions
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A new bill that passed the House Wednesday is going to make it a little easier for brewers to do what they do best, brew beer.

The senate bill removes restrictions for brewers that produce fewer than 30,000 barrels of beer annually to allow a financial interest in one additional brewery that also produces fewer than 30,000 barrels of beer annually. This applies to Fred Colby, the owner of Laughing Dog Brewery in Ponderay, Idaho, who plans to partner with a new venture in Post Falls.

While seeking partnership with Selkirk Abbey Brewing Company, Colby learned that Idaho laws did not allow partnership in more than one tap room in the same state. He did the only thing he could do to fix that, he took it to the Legislature. After the bill passed the House on Wednesday, it now heads to the desk of Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s to be signed.

If approved, Colby joins Selkirk Abbey as head brewer. He brings to the table his experience brewing with Laughing Dog to help them out and have a better chance of making it.

“It takes a lot of work to run a brewery,” Colby said. He’ll have ⅓ partnership in the new brewery, but will remain the owner and head brewer of Laughing Dog.

Selkirk Abbey will specialize in belgium-styled beers, starting out with four to five different types.

Depending on Gov. Otter’s signature, with or without Colby, Selkirk Abbey will start brewing in about a month and will open to the public in time for the summer. Their brewskies will also be bottled and sold in draft. A tap room will be on-site at the brewery with about 30 seats.

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