- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A local brew house is taking advantage of a new law allowing small brewers to distribute their own beer.

The law, which was passed during the last legislative session, has made it possible for Laughing Sun Brewing Co. in downtown Bismarck to begin selling its beers to other bars and restaurants, the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1B3qlyu ) reported. The law created a brewer taproom license that lets companies produce up to 25,000 barrels - 775,000 gallons - of malt beverages a year.

“Starting out doing it locally, we would not be able to do it without that law in place,” said co-owner Todd Sattler. “For us, it’s a matter of economics.”

Sattler said they needed to bring in the maximum amount of profit in order to afford the investment.

The brewery recently purchased two additional fermentation tanks. Sattler said the tanks were each about $10,000 and total investment was between $25,000 and $50,000. The additional tanks will allow the brewery to produce 700 more gallons, increasing capacity 40 percent.

“Since the day we opened, we’ve been asked to have our beer available at other locations,” said co-owner Mike Frohlich. “Until now, we simply didn’t have the production space available to meet the demands inside our pub, much less anywhere else.”

Sattler said being able to distribute the beer themselves was also important because he and Frohlich will be able to choose where it is served. He said they also wanted to build personal relationships with the other bar and restaurant owners.

This month, Laughing Sun’s brews will be available at six new locations. The brewery will expand to more bars and restaurants each week for a total of 20 other locations. Beers available will vary by location but there will be 25 distributed brews, Sattler said.

The brewery owners will do all of the additional brewing themselves to start, according to Sattler. As demand is determined, he said they may add more employees.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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