ATLANTA (defeo.biz) — A law pending before the state legislature could dramatically change the brewery experience for Georgians.
Senate Bill 85 would allow brewers to sell a maximum to 3,000 barrels per year directly to consumers. Buyers could take the beer home or drink it on site.
Under current state law, breweries cannot sell directly to consumers. They are allowed, however, to give samples to people who pay for a tour.
“Georgia has been so behind on the craft brewery side of the laws,” NorthwestGeorgiaNews.com quoted Jay Shell, a microbrewery owner in Rome, Ga., as saying. “It’s real exciting to see that we’re finally turning that corner.”
The state Senate approved SB85 on Feb. 2 by a 49-2 vote. The measure now heads to the state House for consideration.
According to the Brewers Association, Georgia is home to 28 craft breweries. With 0.6 craft breweries per 100,000 residents, the state ranks 48th in the number of breweries per capita, according to association data.
The state’s craft breweries produce 365,015 barrels per year, ranking the state 16th for production.
“In a short time, in a difficult environment, our budding industry is gaining in reputation and beginning to push out some of the best beer in the Southeast,” Eater Atlanta quoted Brian Purcell, owner of Three Taverns Craft Brewery in Decatur, Ga., as saying. “…With our present momentum and the new advantages afforded if this bill becomes law, Georgia will be an unstoppable force in the craft brewing industry.”
Here is the current draft of the bill:164325