New laws for Louisiana breweries help grow businesses

Published: Sep. 8, 2015 at 10:10 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2015 at 12:50 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - New laws in the State of Louisiana are helping some breweries grow their business.

Simply put, the laws that changed this year for breweries is a small victory in the eyes of owners.

"Now that we can sell more, we can be open more hours," said Ben Hart, co-owner of Flying Heart Brewery.

Before the change, breweries were limited to the amount of beer they could sell at their tasting room to only 10 percent of their total production per week. Now, that law states breweries can either sell 10 percent or 250 barrels at their tasting room. The owner can pick whichever they feel is better for their business, or whichever amount is greater. For Flying Heart, that made a huge impact.

"The impact has been completely positive. Obviously having longer hours which means we can sell more product. We're open later, and we're getting more people through here," he said.

Not only does Hart say they are benefiting from it, but he also says so will the community.

"It's going to put a lot more money back into the local economy because we're able to be open longer, sell more product, and contribute more to the tax base," he said.

He said this will also open up the door for other local breweries to come into Shreveport-Bossier, and open a tasting room.

"Because they're now going to be able to have that profit margin at their own tasting room rather than the lower profit margin that you have when you distribute your product," said Hart.

Looking forward, Hart says the state made a great move by changing the law because in the long run it doesn't only affect them.

"We've come in here, and we're bringing a lot of people in here that have never come down to this area," he said. "I think it's also helping some of the local businesses around us. We also have a lot of tourism that comes from the casinos that are from out of town that are coming here for something else to do beside the gambling. So it's really opening this area up, and opening the eyes of the local government to see what the potential of this area is."

While the law did change the amount of beer breweries can sell in a week, it did not change the amount of hours the tasting room can stay open. For now, breweries can only operate for a total of 20 hours per week. That's something Flying Heart hopes will also change in the future.

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