- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A new Oklahoma law that will go into effect this summer will allow craft breweries to sell full-strength beer.

Gov. Mary Fallin approved the law this week, allowing craft breweries to sell glasses of full-strength beer to visitors, as well as cans, bottles and growlers for customers to take home. The law will go into effect Aug. 25, The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/1TYp7g1 ) reported.

State law thus far has limited craft brewers to selling 3.2 beer and providing up to 12-ounce samples of full-strength beer on premises. To sell full-strength beer, Oklahoma brewers have had to go through a wholesaler that distributes the product to liquor stores.

“To be limited with what we can do in our facility limits our ability to connect with customers and consumers,” said Patrick Lively, brewmaster for Anthem Brewing Co. “Any sort of expansion of our ability to do that is a step in the right direction.”

Republican state Sen. Brian Crain of Tulsa said he decided to sponsor the bill because he believes Oklahoma’s alcohol laws were outdated.

“I think that Oklahoma has antiquated laws dealing with liquor and because we consider strong beer to be a liquor, we were hindering that market,” Crain said.

Zach Prichard, president of the Craft Brewers Association of Oklahoma and president of Krebs-based Choc Beer Co., said he believes the law will help grow the state’s craft beer industry.

“I think you are going to see more brewers and you are going to see more creativity and expansion from the existing brewers,” Prichard said.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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