Omnivore - Baby steps in local beer laws

House Bill 472 increases limit on local beer production

House Bill 472 was passed by the Georgia House of Representatives Tues., by a margin of 152-6. According to the First Reader Summary, the bill is meant to: amend Code Section 3-5-36 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the brewpub exception to the three-tier distribution system, so as to amend the terms and conditions that exist for owners and operators of brewpubs; to increase the maximum quantity of barrels of beer that may be manufactured and sold; to remove that requirement that beer be sold solely in draft form; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Say what?

Previously, a brewpub in the State of Ga. could only manufacture 5,000 barrels for sale on premises, up to 500 of which could be sold to a licensed wholesaler for distribution to retailers.

We caught up with one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Richard Smith, who explained that the previous law inhibited a brewpub’s desire to manufacture enough beer to both sell in their restaurants and to wholesalers for retail distribution. In other words, both amounts were too small to make economic sense to small business owners.

The adoption of HB 472 would mean that brewpubs could legally manufacture up to 10,000 barrels per year for sale on the premises, and sell up to 5,000 barrels to a wholesaler in keg form.

Section 2, lines 21-25 of HB 472 read:

21 Said title is further amended by revising paragraph (2) of Code Section 3-5-36, relating to
22 the brewpub exception to the three-tier distribution system, as follows:
23 “(2) A brewpub license authorizes the holder of such license to:
24 (A) Manufacture on the licensed premises not more than 5,000 10,000 barrels of beer
25 in a calendar year solely for retail sale on the premises and solely in draft form ;

Followed by lines 34-36: