Ordinance to allow farm breweries introduced
CENTREVILLE — A new definition has been added to the Queen Anne’s County Glossary of the Code of Public Local Laws as well as a new agricultural use that would allow farm breweries by permit in the county.
Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Mark Anderson introduced Ordinance 16-21 during the board’s Tuesday, Jan. 10, meeting, and a public hearing was scheduled for Feb. 28 at 7:05 p.m.
Anderson said he introduced the ordinance because “its another way for our farmers ... to make a few extra dollars if they choose to do so,” as well as can possibly create a few jobs.
“Since we have so much agrarian property, one more use seemed good to me,” Anderson said.
The ordinance adds the word farm breweries to the agriculture definition of Chapter 18 App Appendix A. A farm brewery is defined as “a part of a producing farm operation that brews beer from ingredients grown and produced on the farm,” the definition reads.
Incidental operations such as fer- menting, distilling, blending, aging, storing, administrative activities, warehouse, bottling and shipping facilities are outlined as acceptable uses of farm brewery activities.
The definition states promotional items and tasting facilities are allowed on the grounds as well as organized and planned activities.
In May 2012, a Class 8 Farm Brewing license was established by the State of Maryland only available to farmers. The Class 8 license allows the sale and delivery of beer to individuals and companies, as well as the on-site consumption of the alcohol, Stan Kosick, Queen Anne’s County senior planner, wrote in an executive summary to the commissioners.
A text amendment, known as TA16-21, was created after planning and zoning staff met with a Queen Anne’s County farmer looking to create a farm brewery. During the Planning Commission’s November meeting, a favorable recommendation was passed to the county commission.
During the county commission’s Dec. 13 meeting, the text amendment was introduced and a motion to have county attorney Patrick Thompson draft Ordinance 16-21, which permits the brewing action.
Farm breweries are only allowed in the Agriculture Districts in the county and allows farmers to diversify their crops as well as create more tourism opportunities for the county.
Under the Code of Maryland Article “Alcoholic Beverages,” no more than six fluid ounces per brand brewed can be exceeded, and no more than 15,000 barrels of beer can be brewed or bottled per calendar year.
The code states that unless a planned multi-brewery activity or the Office of the Comptroller issues a special brewery promotional event designation to the licensee, on-site consumption of the beverage can only take place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
According to the University of Maryland Extension Office, the Class 8 Farm Brewing license has a $200 annual fee.
To view the ordinance in its entirety, visit the county’s website at www.qac. org and search “2017 Ordinances.”
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