The first step toward allowing breweries to dual license, giving them the ability to distribute and sell on-premises, was taken this week. House Bill 3693 was introduced and was referred to the Committee and Judiciary. I’m not really sure what that means, but it is good news.
For those that may not follow the issue, in South Carolina, a brewery can be either “on-premises” or “off-premises.” This means they can produce beer and sell it through a distributor or they can sell it in their establishment (brewpub) but not both.
Allowing small breweries to sell on-premises is advantageous for the breweries because it will allow them to do brewery tours, have tasting rooms, and enjoy higher margins by selling some product directly to the customer. It’s a way to generate traffic and buzz (literally and figuratively) and draw in new customers by offering fun activities, thus creating a personal connection with the brewery and increasing brand loyalty.
It’s hard enough for these small brewers to survive, let alone grow. Why do you think we only have five breweries in the state? So keep your eyes and ears open for more news on this bill. I’ll let you know when we start organizing sit-ins…