Bills to help Kansas microbreweries approved by state Senate

Geoff Deman, head brewer at Free State Brewery, pulls out spent malt from the lauter tun in this file photo from 2014.

? Microbreweries in Kansas could start producing hard cider and would be allowed to brew more beer than they can now under bills approved by the state Senate.

Senators approved two measures Tuesday on 40-0 votes, sending them to the House.

Both bills are designed to keep the state’s microbrewery industry growing.

One measure would allow a microbrewery to produce up to 60,000 barrels of beer a year, double the current limit.

The other bill would allow a microbrewery to produce hard cider from apples or pears that is less than 8.5 percent alcohol by volume. State law current limits such businesses to producing beer.