Georgia’s breweries and distilleries got one step closer to being able to sell their products directly to customers as Senate Bill 85 passed through the House today.
Right now, breweries have to go through alcohol wholesalers to sell their product to retailers. Senate Bill 85 would change that, letting distilleries sell up to 500 barrels per year and craft breweries to sell up to 3,000 barrels per year to their customers.
Sen. Hunter Hill introduced a version of this bill last year, but it didn’t make it past its committee hearing after strong pushback from alcohol wholesalers. For this year’s legislative session, Sen. Rick Jeffares worked with the Georgia Craft Breweries Guild and other legislators to introduce an improved version of the bill.
State Rep. Scott Turner says the bill will be a great boost to the economy.
“This is a job-creating piece of legislation that will help at least 26 companies form and go into business and into the marketplace, thereby creating many more jobs for Georgians,” Turner says.
The original bill applied to only craft breweries, but the House added language to include distilleries as well. Because of this change, it must go back to the Senate for approval. If it passes through the Senate, it will go to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk.