Little resistance as changes to state's brewery laws move forward

Little resistance as changes to state's brewery laws move forward

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Senate Judiciary members are working on a number of changes involving alcohol licensing issues. A couple of them that modify the rules when it comes to the operations of brewpubs and breweries.

One of the issues getting a thumbs up on Tuesday from the committee includes an amendment that would allow a brewery to get a permit to sell liquor by the drink on premises. That same amendment also allows a brewpub, which can brew beer on site but has limits on how much, to apply for an upgrade to become a brewery. Breweries can not only make but package and sell beer.

These rule changes are part of an ongoing effort to loosen the laws on the production of craft beer in South Carolina. Those advocating for the changes have complained about restrictions in the law that they say hold back small businesses. In this state, they have faced more regulation and there's been possibly more confusion about what they can and cannot do than in North Carolina for instance, which has many more breweries and brewpubs.

Lexington Sen. Katrina Shealy has been working on the proposals.

"We had no opposition," Shealy said. "This went really well. We had people that currently own brewpubs testify. The Hunter-Gatherer, he was there he testified about how wonderful this was that he could expand his business."

The amendment received little comment during the Judiciary meeting and now moves on for further Senate approval.

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