Legislators today announced the filing of legislation to modernize Alcoholic Beverage laws to support the state’s burgeoning craft beer industry.
Representative Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) and co-sponsors Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), and Rep. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg) announced HB 500 “ABC Omnibus Legislation,” in a press conference at the NC General Assembly.
“Alcoholic Beverage Control laws pre-date the existence of the craft beer industry in North Carolina,” McGrady said. “We have out-dated state laws standing in the way of a growing industry that is bringing jobs to every part of the state, and we need to fix that.”
The legislation is wide-ranging and includes a number of provisions that will update laws, including raising the self-distribution cap on beer production to 200,000 barrels (up from the current 25,000 barrel limit), updating franchise requirements and a number of other changes to bring the law into step with best practices in taprooms, brew pubs and tasting rooms across the state. The measures are supported by the NC Craft Brewers Guild and Craft Freedom.
“The mission of our Guild is to make North Carolina the best place to brew beer, and the best place to drink beer, in this country,” said Margo Metzger, executive director of the NC Craft Brewers Guild. “These common-sense reforms will put our independent craft brewers on an even footing with international corporate beer, and give them a real shot at success.”
North Carolina is home to more than 200 independent craft breweries across the state. The estimated economic impact of NC-brewed craft beer is $1.2 Billion annually, which supports more than 10,000 jobs. NC Beer Month begins on April 1, kicking off a month-long celebration of the craft beer industry.
Read a point-by-point summary of HB 500 here.