Last week, South Carolina craft beer scored a major victory. The “Pint Law” was approved by the state’s House of Representatives and now awaits Governor Haley’s signature. She has assured the South Carolina Brewer’s Association that she will sign the bill.
Once this bill becomes law, it will be a major turning point for craft beer in the state. It will allow breweries to sell up to 48 ounces of beer for on-premise consumption. While it’s not unlimited sales or self-distribution like some states (North Carolina), this is a huge step and will open the door for more breweries to open in the state.
Like any business, but especially one as capital-intensive as brewing beer, being able to sell directly to the consumer is a huge benefit. To illustrate just how beneficial it is, one only has to look across South Carolina’s border to the North. North Carolina allows for breweries to sell their beer on-premise and to self-distribute their beer. Prior to this law passing, South Carolina breweries could do neither. North Carolina has over 70 breweries. South Carolina has 10.
Oh, and North Carolina just brought in East Coast expansions from Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues over the past year. Just sayin’…
Obviously, the effects of this law won’t be felt overnight. Now that the law is all but passed, more people may now decide that South Carolina has a good climate to start a brewery, and that process can take a year or more from start to finish.
So while this law is a huge win for the breweries currently open in the state, look for even more to enter the game in 2015 and beyond.