Some breweries worry new state guidelines could prevent industry from growing

Craft Brewery Regulations

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Some Louisiana breweries worry a new state advisory could prevent the industry from growing.

Business is good at Scott Wood's New Orleans brewery, and he'd like to grow. But he's concerned new state guidelines could get in the way.

"We're worried about growth opportunities and the future of this small industry that's booming and has the potential to create jobs, bring money to the state," said Wood, owner of Courtyard Brewery.

The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control recently issued an advisory notice with a list of suggested guidelines for breweries, including limits on how much food is sold at the business - that's no more than 25% of all beer sales. And only products brewed at the facility are allowed to be sold and served to the public - that means all other beer, wine, or spirits are prohibited.

"For expansion purposes we might want to include a restaurant," said Wood. "Some of the things that have come down from ATC absolutely could put some of the small breweries out of business, not necessarily the food clause, although as responsible vendors who serve alcohol we want to be able to serve food at the same time."

Members of the Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild were at the State Capitol this week to have a conversation with lawmakers about their concerns and their future.

"Although some of the rules may not directly impact someone in operation right now it does look like it could limit some future business plans and I think that's kind of the general consensus is that although we are not totally pleased with the outcome we're happy with the actual conversation," said Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Cary Koch.

Wood hopes the state won't restrict the growth of a booming industry with the new guidelines. He says doing so could send jobs and money out of Louisiana.

"Louisiana is 49th in the country in breweries per capita, and we're 49th in the country for number of breweries, but we're 11th in the country for consumption so we are pumping money out of the city, out of the state, out of our communities, out of the country that should be here supporting jobs for locals. It should be supporting other small businesses," said Wood.

We reached out to the state ATC but they have not returned our request for comment.

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