Governor Kim Reynolds was at an award-winning brewery in Decorah today for a ceremony to approve a law that will likely expand the variety of alcoholic beverages produced in the state.
The new law, which takes effect July 1, lets state-licensed beer makers, wineries and distilleries get another license to make another kind of alcohol.
“This is an opportunity for companies just like Toppling Goliath to continue to grow and expand and it’s my understanding that they’re ready to move into distilled spirits,” Reynolds said. “This is removing barriers so our entrepreneurs and our small business owners can continue to not only invest in their company, but invest in Iowans and their communities and that is certainly what’s happening here with Toppling Goliath.”
Clark Lewey, founder of Toppling Goliath, said it means “job growth” for the state.
“It’s pretty exciting for us,” Lewey said. “We’ve been thinking about distilling for some time and, of course, the obstacle in the way — or the ‘Goliath’ — was the Iowa law concerning brewers. If you had a brewers permit, you were not allowed to own a distillery, so that’s what this bill does. It changes that law and gives all Iowa breweries the opportunity to become a distillery as well.”
According to the Iowa Brewers Guide, craft beer is being brewed at 80 different locations in the state today. There are more than 100 commercial wineries and, according to a state report, there are 10 Iowa businesses making vodka, whiskey, rye and other alcoholic spirits.
(By Darin Svenson, KDEC, Decorah)