Let’s face it, Georgia beer laws are a little outdated. We’ve made some progress in recent years, however we have now hit a huge milestone that needs our help. Georgia is one of the few states left in the country where it is illegal to buy beer from a brewery. A bill has been introduced to change this and ABInBev’s and SABMiller’s lobbyists are fighting it. We need to stand up for this bill and fight back. Please read this FAQ style guide to understand and do as much as you can to help. If we all try hard enough and get enough people involved, we’ll be able to buy a beer from our favorite brewer, just as we would buy a loaf of bread from a favorite baker.
GA HB314 sets new provisions for both breweries (e.g. Sweetwater, Red Brick, Terrapin, etc.) and brewpubs (a restaurant that brews it’s own beer, e.g. Twain’s, Wrecking Bar, Max Lager’s). The bill would allow each to sell an individual up to 288 ounces per day for off premise consumption.
You would be able to go to breweries and buy up to 288 ounces (a case of beer) per day. Growlers, bottles, and cans are all applicable and would be options for purchase. At this time this wouldn’t change anything for on premise consumption and the current tour/tasting model.
With added revenue from on-site sales and an outlet for experimental beer testing, this is a major milestone for the growth of the brewing industry in Georgia. This can be seen by the flourishing businesses and markets across the US where similar, or looser laws are already in place. The growth of brewing businesses in these markets is substantial. Breweries are simply asking for people to have the option of buying beer from their local brewery just as they do in almost every state in the union and every country in the world.
Currently breweries in Georgia can sell a tour consisting of six 4 oz pours. The tastings are a part of the tour and therefore the brewery isn’t legally selling you beer.
Not at all. Breweries definitely need the services of distributors and in no way is this bill trying to get rid of their help. This bill is about allowing breweries an easier way to do business and an extra revenue stream to foster growth for small businesses.
It’s a small business issue. ABInBev and SABMiller have made it very clear that they are against this bill. It’s important to note that both of these companies are foreign owned conglomerates that are lobbying against American owned small businesses. In many other countries where these corporations contract business, there is no three tier system and they own thousands of pubs where they sell their beer directly. Clearly, this is a testament to the lack of commitment to the three tier system these companies have and that it is only a facade they hide behind. We want it easier for small businesses in the quickly growing craft beer market to start and operate in Georgia. Much more lax laws already exist for Georgia’s wineries, let’s not standby and allow distributors’ lobbyists to keep the beer sector in the dark ages. Why would we hinder small businesses in a time when jobs and growth are essential to building our economy?
Contact your officials! They are hearing from the lobbyists whom are not helping us out. Use this link and tell your officials how you feel. Here’s a sample email you can send:
We support the three-tier system in GA and feel that HB 314 will result in tremendous growth for craft beer in Georgia. In conjunction with increased distribution limits passed last year, passage of HB 314 will benefit wholesalers, breweries, and consumers of Georgia’s craft beer.
Thank you everyone! This is something very important to me and I hope we change it. Please spread the word and share this guide.