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Rise in Nebraska beer pubs, wineries increases workload for state alcohol regulators

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LINCOLN, Nebraska — Beer and wine are booming in Nebraska, and state regulators are struggling to keep up.

The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission is asking lawmakers and the governor for additional staff to oversee the state's fast-growing brewpub and winery industries, and to approve liquor licenses for special events.

Hobe Rupe, the commission's executive director, says the employees are needed because of the increased workload due to the popularity of locally produced beer and wines.

The number of licensed brewpubs in Nebraska has grown from 21 to 37 in the last two years. The state also has 34 farm wineries this year, up from 28 in 2012.

The commission also predicts that it will approve 4,300 special licenses for weddings and events such as Lincoln's Ribfest.

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