Business on tap: A deregulation success story
Nanobreweries - tiny breweries that produce fewer than 2,000 barrels of beer a year - are expanding in New Hampshire thanks to a 2011 state law that relaxed regulations on them. Will legislators close these small businesses next year by returning to the old, more burdensome regulations?
New Hampshire is home to some well-known microbreweries such as Smuttynose Brewing Co. in Portsmouth. These brewers have to pay a $1,200 annual fee to the state and abide by strict regulations on serving beer (along with food, for example). Microbreweries stimulated demand for craft beers, but paying a $1,200 fee and having to be regulated like a restaurant was a big burden for would-be startups. So last year legislators relaxed the rules to give beer afficionados the opportunity to create start-ups in their garages or basements the way tech entrepreneurs famously have done.
It has worked. Nanobreweries like Earth Eagle Brewings in Portsmouth, Blue Lobster in Hampton and Throwback Brewery in North Hampton are popping up and adding to the local economy. These small businesses would be crushed if the state undid this law. Democrats, who now control the state House of Representatives and the corner office, said Republicans went too far in rolling back regulations. This is one rollback that everyone should agree was a good move.
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Mike Redding said:
"thanks to a 2011 state law that relaxed regulations on them". Do any of those relaxed regulations involve product quality to protect the public?
December 11, 2012 8:04 am
It was notable that the Tea Party legislature addressed the microbrewery trend not by deregulation but by more regulation: by creating a new regulatory category of "microbrewery" with slightly less onerous restrictions. Even bureaucratic prior restraint on hospital spending--the Orwellian "Certificate of Need" was given a new three-year lease on life, during which Jeb Bradley intends to sabotage the repeal. They couldn't even kill the Bureau of Barbering. The lack of results may be why the Republicans were swept away. Mike Redding: You asserted, under the recent John Stossel op-ed, that a government inspector is our only protection against businessmen who naturally want to produce products that make their customers vomit. You and your cohorts are defending government jobs, with fear and loathing for an underinformed public, not because you want the supposed result but because you want government jobs. A class of people profit from the mere existence of a large bureaucracy, whether or not it produces results, and there is nothing better to do at the union hall than pump "independent" messages into a newspaper website.
December 11, 2012 8:57 am
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