Spokane-Style Beer?

This topic is now bubbling up (see here, here, and here), and it's one I'd like to address more fully.  I throw it out there mainly to fire up the rage engine:
No-Li Brewhouse has been crafting beer in the Northwest since 1993. Their branding pays homage to their love of Spokane and the region. Now, No-Li has put Spokane on the map as a major force in the world of craft brews. Earlier this week No-Li announced that they have gotten federal approval for a new style of craft beer. Spokane-Style.

What makes a beer Spokane-Style? Well, first off it must be brewed and packaged in Spokane. But the origin of the beer goes beyond that. To be classified as Spokane-Style all the ingredients must come from within 300 miles of the city.
For the moment, I'll leave you with these questions: How does the federal use of the word "style" change its meaning?  Is 300 miles the right radius for a local style beer?  Why not 100?  500?  Is this a good precedent?  Will designations like "Spokane style" be a boon or curse to consumers? 
Jeff Alworth7 Comments