S.C. brewers seek less restrictive regulatory environment

Breweries in South Carolina are once again pushing for more lenient regulations across the state, hoping to bolster the state’s craft beer boom.

Chris Brown, co-owner of Holy City Brewing in North Charleston and president of the S.C. Brewers Guild, said this year’s legislative agenda is the biggest push the guild has made.

Other big legislative pushes by the guild include the 2007 “pop the cap” law, which allowed beer above 5% alcohol by weight to be brewed in the state and the 2013 “pint law” allowing breweries to sell beer for on-site consumption.

“Those were huge bills in themselves and extremely important to everything that we did,” Brown said. “But this is probably the most things that we’ve asked for or that we’re going after.”

Brook Bristow, executive director of the S.C. Brewers Guild, said the legislative agenda is the result of research and discussions within the industry over the past few years, and a lot of the proposed regulatory changes are a result of the industry’s growth

“A lot might seem like small changes, little tweaks to the laws, but in the end, they’re going to be very beneficial to the membership and to the industry at large” he said.

The agenda asks the state to allow for standalone brewery taprooms, removing the requirement that a brewery must brew beer at any facility it serves its product; allowing for breweries to transfer beer between multiple locations; allowing consumers to purchase more to-go beer from breweries, eliminating the 288-ounce cap; and lowering the beer excise tax to the national average of 28.8 cents per gallon.

Read more of this Charleston Regional Business Journal article by Patrick Hoff by clicking here.