Bill to extend tap-room hours dies in committee

Posted: 3:40 PM, Feb 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-08 20:20:25-05

HELENA- A bill allowing Montana micro-brewery tap-rooms to extend their hours to 10:00 p.m. died a quick death Friday.

Without discussion, the House Business and Labor Committee voted 16-to-three to kill the measure.

The committee had a hearing on House Bill 185 earlier in the week.

Montana craft-brewers supported it, saying that allowing their tap rooms to remain open for an additional two hours would help the booming industry keep growing.

Tavern and restaurant owners strongly opposed it.

They said brewers are asking to create unfair competition for retail sales of alcohol because the brewers haven’t had to pay for an expensive alcohol-beverage licenses.

The bill was sponsored by Democratic Representative Dave Fern of Whitefish.