Bars in Maine will be allowed to legally display the alcohol content of beer, thanks to a new state law enacted Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Louis Luchini of Ellsworth, repeals a 1937 law that forbade the practice of displaying alcohol content, such as on signs or beer menus. At the time, the law was designed to deter ‘strength wars’ between brewers.

Gov. Paul LePage allowed the measure to become law without his signature.

Brewers and bar-owners in the state were reminded of the law after a Rockland-area brewer and bar-owner was told by a state liquor inspector to remove the ABVs from a menu.

The growing beer industry in Maine, which skews heavily toward craft brews that often have high alcohol-contents, took immediate exception to the statute, saying that customers who want to consume high-alcohol craft beers responsibly have a right to know what they’re in for.

Luchini’s bill was a response to the uproar, and was supported by the Maine Brewer’s Guild, the Maine Restaurant Association, among other food and beverage groups in the state.

Staff Writer Matt Byrne can be reached at 791-6303, or at:

mbyrne@pressherald.com

Twitter: MattByrnePPH