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      Nebraska Senators Eyeing Ways to Expand Craft Beers

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      LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Small, independent beer breweries could have an easier time gaining a foothold in Nebraska if some lawmakers have their way.

      Three state lawmakers have introduced a legislative study to see what the state can do to help craft breweries expand.

      The study will examine whether self-distribution could help startup breweries succeed. It also will examine how they're taxed relative to larger brewers.

      Lawmakers will also look at a beer check-off program to promote Nebraska-made craft beers, and a possible truth-in-labeling requirement intended to keep major companies from portraying their beer as locally made products.

      Last year, Nebraska passed a law that doubles the production limit of microbreweries to 20,000 barrels of beer per year. One barrel contains 31 gallons, or about two kegs of beer.

      Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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