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Bill to extend tap-room hours in Montana dies in committee

Posted at 3:14 PM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-08 20:13:41-05

HELENA- A bill allowing Montana micro-brewery tap-rooms to extend their hours to 10 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 license.

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

Story by Mike Dennison, MTN News