New website hopes to attract more breweries to state - - Columbia, South Carolina |

New website hopes to attract more breweries to state

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Some in South Carolina want the job of making beer to become a big industry in the state.

There are 18 craft breweries throughout the state but the attempts to woo one big name brewery to the Palmetto State could end up changing state laws in the process.

"Unfortunately our laws quite aren't where they need to be," said Wesley Donehue with Push Digital.

South Carolina's legislature just passed a law last year that lets local breweries serve full pints in their business.

"We're excited to have people come in and tour the place, and share with them what we're doing, but we can't yet," said Matthew Ellisor with Conquest Brewing Company. "As frustrating as that was, we were still able to work through. They're excited for Columbia to have a craft beer."

State laws still prevent breweries that sell and distribute their beer from serving food on site, which is keeping big name breweries like the west coast's Stone Brewing from calling the Palmetto State home.

"That's a lot of jobs we can't be passing up for some silly little technicality," Donehue said.

Push digital launched Monday with the goal to get legislators to pass legislation changing brewing laws in the state and make it more attractive to Stone.

"We're just doing free work for this bill, and the brewers," Donehue said.

But there's a catch.

"Unfortunately, we are in literally the last days of the legislative session," said State Rep. Alan Clemmons. "I believe we have 14 days left in the legislature. That does not bode well when you're trying to get a bill up and moving."

Clemmons co-sponsored one of the two bills to ease brewing laws and his home district of Myrtle Beach is fighting hard to bring Stone home.

But even if the bills don't make it this session, Clemmons said he hopes the show of state support sends a clear enough message.

"A lot of other brewers are looking at South Carolina, we need to expeditiously change our laws," Clemmons said.

In North Carolina, which has attracted big name brewers like Sierra Nevada and Fat Tire, there's a total of 80 craft breweries currently operating.

"Rising tide lifts all boats, and brewers understand that probably better than any other business I've experienced," Ellisor said.

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