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Craft Beer Boom Prompts States to Ease Laws in Bid for Revenue

Bottles of Schlafly Pale Ale are packaged at Schlafly Bottleworks Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010. Drinking Budweiser in St. Louis used to be like driving a Ford or Chrysler in Detroit. Now, generations of local loyalty is eroding in the wake of InBev’s hostile takeover of Anheuser-Busch two years ago.

Bottles of Schlafly Pale Ale are packaged at Schlafly Bottleworks Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010. Drinking Budweiser in St. Louis used to be like driving a Ford or Chrysler in Detroit. Now, generations of local loyalty is eroding in the wake of InBev’s hostile takeover of Anheuser-Busch two years ago.

Photographer: Whitney Curtis/Bloomberg

The U.S. craft beer business, the fastest-growing segment of a $102 billion market, is giving states an opportunity to capitalize on the nation’s growing thirst for India pale ale and imperial oatmeal stout.

In Illinois, a bill sent to Governor Bruce Rauner last month would allow more breweries to sell directly to consumers. Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a law in May that lets customers fill 64-ounce growlers at taps. In New York, a tax credit pushed through by Governor Andrew Cuomo is giving cash back to small brewers to boost growth.