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Bill passed allowing increased Illinois beer production

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Legislation that proponents expect to boost Illinois’ beer production is headed to the governor’s desk after passing the House.

The bill that passed the House 87-20 on Tuesday allows breweries to make up to 120,000 barrels of beer per year. That is more than most breweries in the state currently produce. The brewers can produce that much beer while operating as many as three retail facilities, such as brewpubs and taprooms.

Current law limits brewers to 30,000 barrels of annual production if they own multiple types of breweries.

The legislation is the result of nearly a year of negotiation between craft brewers and businesses that distribute beer to bars, stores and restaurants.

Illinois Craft Brewers Guild president John Barley says there is a lot of excitement among brewers over the legislation.