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Bay Times and Record Observer: Franchot visits Bull and Goat Brewery

Bay Times and Record Observer

Franchot visits Bull and Goat Brewery

May 17, 2017

By Mike Davis

CENTREVILLE — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, accompanied by local and state officials, tasted beer at a Centreville brewery on Monday afternoon, May 15.

The visit was part of Franchot’s effort to gain more information about brewery operations around the state. While there, he presented the owners of The Bull and Goat Brewery, a non-brewery operation located at 206 Banjo Lane in Centreville, a proclamation for their small business.

The Bull and Goat Brewery has been making beer in town since 2016 and will expand its operation to a tavern within the next few months. The tavern will be located at 204 Banjo Lane with an anticipated move in date of June 1.

The nano-brewery is owned by Jake Heimbuch of Henderson and Jeff Putman of Chestertown.

Heimbuch accepted the proclamation and Comptroller Medallion on behalf of the business.

Heimbuch thanked the officials for the ongoing support in their operation and the aid they have received.

“Everyone has been extremely welcoming, and we’ve seen hurdles, and everyone has answered the phone and told us what we needed to fix,” Heimbuch said. “It’s been tremendous, and it’s rare.”

In April, the comptroller announced he was going to chair a “Reform On Tap” Task Force to look at state laws about the alcohol industry in Maryland. Franchot said the goal is to “correct somewhat antiquated and out-of-date laws.”

Franchot said the task force will “make sure that the state laws are compatible with the growth of this industry,” which he said in Maryland is a $500 million per year sector.

Franchot thanked the local and county officials for their common sense in creating opportunities for people willing to invest their time and money into a sector such as this.

Centreville Town Council President Tim McCluskey said because of the town’s strong interest in economic development, town officials worked with Heimbuch and Putman to change zoning laws as breweries were previously not allowed.

County Commissioner Robert Buckey, along with State Sen. Steve Hershey, wished the brewery continued success. Buckey said small businesses such as The Bull and Goat Brewery are vital to a good economy and must be supported.

Kevin Atticks with Grow and Fortify, LLC, applauded Franchot’s effort in taking a leading role in updating the state’s laws by developing the task force. He said many laws benefit other parts of the alcoholic beverage industry, but now it’s time to focus on the brewers.

He told Heimbuch that the risk he and his partner took opening a nano-brewery was high but that it will “yield immeasurable rewards” and that the county will see its economic impact.

The task force, which will develop legislative proposals based on other state’s laws and input from sector stakeholders, will be made up of 40 craft brewers, consumers and industry professionals, according to a statement from Franchot’s office.

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