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  4. HF607

What It Is

This bill combines the Division’s original proposed technical bill with the recommendations of Division Administrator Stephen Larson and Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham from their review of Iowa’s alcohol laws last year.

The bill passed both chambers of the Iowa legislature with broad support, receiving a vote of 93-1 in the Iowa House of Representatives and a vote of 50-0 in the Iowa Senate. Governor Terry E. Branstad signed the legislation into law on May 9, 2017.

What It Does

Please note that all changes in the bill become effective July 1, 2017.

Division I of the bill makes technical changes to Iowa Code chapter 123 to eliminate language that is unclear or redundant, establishes wording that more accurately reflects the Division’s practices, and creates uniform language regarding the contents of applications for liquor control licenses, wine permits, and beer permits.

Division II streamlines licensing for Iowa beer manufacturers and wholesalers by consolidating beer permits, annual permit fees, and bond requirements so that manufacturers of low- and high-proof beer need only obtain one permit.

Division II also makes policy changes related to the sale of beer in the marketplace. Brewpubs will no longer be required to sell the beer they make to a wholesaler before selling it for off-premises consumption in a growler. This will increase efficiency for both brewpubs and beer wholesalers.

Division II also allows a brewery to sell wine in its taproom. This change mirrors language passed by the Iowa legislature with broad support in 2009 that allowed a winery to sell beer.

Finally, Division III makes policy changes related to Iowa’s native distilleries. The bill increases the number of bottles small distilleries can sell, and allows them to also apply for a new license allowing sales by the drink on the manufacturing premises. The bill also allows large distilleries to maintain tasting and bottle sales privileges as they become more successful and production increases.

Overall, this bill will make it easier and more efficient for Iowans to conduct business with state government, make Iowa’s alcohol laws clearer and easier to both understand and enforce, maintain the three-tier distribution system, and result in public policy that creates opportunities for improved commerce while ensuring that the health and safety of Iowans is protected.