California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law this week that makes it easier for breweries to open tasting rooms. Basically, brewers now are exempt from the California Retail Food Code, which required a huge financial outlay to comply with. (Click here to read a story about the California law.) So how is this relevant to Ohio? Well, Ohio breweries have been fighting a similar issue here for years. The state charges breweries $3,906 a year for a manufacturing license. But if the brewery wants to open a tasting room, the state charges an additional $3,906 for a separate permit. Obviously, production breweries think this requirement is unfair and they should have to pay for only one permit. It's also discouraged production breweries like Hoppin' Frog Brewery in Akron to open tasting rooms. (The most unfair part is that brewers have to pay $3,906 for an annual license while a winery pays $76.) The requirement almost was scrapped as part of the state's new two-year budget, but the change was scuttled at the last minute. Ohio brewers are now working again behind the scenes with state lawmakers on the tasting room issue. One brewer told me that they don't want any publicity about the issue, fearing that may wreck their chances.