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Rauner Visits Destihl To Sign Craft Beer Bill

Destihl Brewery
Eric Stock
Gov. Bruce Rauner takes a drink of beer prior to a bill-signing ceremony at Destihl Brewery in Normal with (left to right) state Sen. Bill Brady, Madeline Herrman with Sen. Jason Barickman's office and Destihl owner Matt Potts.

Gov. Bruce Rauner visited Destihl Brewery on Saturday to sign a measure that he said will cut costs and bureaucratic red tape for craft breweries across Illinois.

The measure which the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild had pushed enables craft breweries to transfer the beer they produce directly to their own pubs, thus avoiding a distributor’s markup.

“Not too many businesses have to buy their own product from a third party,” Destihl owner Matt Potts said. “It’s really just common-sense legislation for something like that to be changed.”

The bill also allows breweries to feature guest brews and ciders in their taprooms to allow for more collaboration between breweries, and it allows off-site warehousing for packaged beer.

“There are all kinds of ancient restrictions on brewers dating back to the 1930s and they were ridiculously restrictive,” Rauner said.

The law takes effect immediately.  

Potts has been working with the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild to lobby the state legislature to pass a series of measures in the last eight years that he said helped the industry to flourish. One in particular, Potts noted, allows craft breweries to brew up to 120,000 barrels of beer annually.

“Without those changes, the new brewery here couldn’t have even happened,” Potts said.

The new Destihl Brewery and Beer Hall opened in May 2017. Destihl beers will be distributed in about 30 states and at least three countries in Europe and Asia by the end of 2018.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.