NC Craft Breweries Again Try To Lift Burdensome State Regulation On Self-Distribution…

Excerpt By: Carolina Journal. Written By: Barry Smith

State Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, has filed a bill that would increase the amount of beer smaller craft breweries could brew and sell without having to contract with a wholesale distributor.

House Bill 67 would increase the cap from 25,000 barrels per year to 100,000 barrels per year. A barrel of beer is 31 gallons.

At least three North Carolina craft breweries — Red Oak in Whitsett, and Olde Meck andNoDa in Charlotte — say they are already approaching the 25,000-barrel threshold. They say they want to continue control over their distribution and plan to halt growth if the law isn’t changed.

Previous attempts to increase the distribution cap were unsuccessful, but craft brewers have ramped up their lobbying efforts and plan to make a big push for a change this year.

Ryan Self is director of sales for Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte. The brewery opened in 2009 and now, according to the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild, has some 180 cohorts across the state.

Self, who spoke at the John Locke Foundation last year, said the choices before customers are unprecedented and so, as a result, is the market.



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