Governor Jack Markell signed HB 447 today at Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, one of the twelve unique stops on the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail.
"Tourism employs 38,000 Delawareans, and small businesses -- like our breweries and wineries -- are driving job creation," said Markell. "The Wine and Ale Trail is a great example of how government, industry and other organizations can join forces to develop business and enhance the local community."
The Delaware Wine and Ale Trail was created by a coalition initiated by the Delaware Tourism Office to capitalize on the growing craft brew and wine industries. The Trail encompasses a collection of wineries and breweries where visitors can enjoy and learn about Delaware's distinctive craft brews and award-winning wines.
"A 1.7 trillion dollar business, travel and tourism is one of the most prominent and reliable industries in the nation," says Linda Parkowski, Director of Tourism. "Enticing out-of-state visitors to Delaware can improve the local economy and enhance job creation."
The bill that was signed into law today increases the number of brewery pubs that can be owned by a microbrewer, ensures that they can sell for off-site consumption at three locations, and increases the amount that can be brewed under the "microbrewery" license. It was sponsored by Senator Anthony J. DeLuca (D-Varlano), Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth), and Rep. Ruth Briggs King (R-Georgetown).
"I think this piece of legislation is good for Delaware tourism," said Senator Joseph W. Booth (R-Georgetown). "More importantly, it focuses on businesses that are just beginning to grow. This legislation will help with marketing, especially through state assistance to support our local brewers - they can sell on premises what they make, and bring more jobs and money to the Delaware economy."
"Every once in a while a bill comes along that just makes sense. This is a great step to boost small business and that's what we need to focus on right now," said House Majority Leader Rep. Schwartzkopf.
"This is a great example of what state government should be doing, removing hurdles facing our small businesses and facilitating their growth and the new jobs they'll create," said Rep. Briggs King. "This law will not only benefit established micro-breweries, like Dogfish Head, but smaller Delaware brewers like Georgetown's 16 Mile Brewing Company."
Wine and brew enthusiasts can embark on their journey by retrieving a Trail Map from the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail website at www.visitdelaware.com/wineandale.