South Carolina beer pint bill clears House, headed for governor’s desk; brewers celebrate news
The state House of Representatives today gave final approval to a bill allowing pint sales at South Carolina breweries and the measures now awaits the governor’s signature.
The South Carolina Brewers Association has been pushing the measure for more than a year to enable breweries to bring in additional revenue and spur industry growth in the Palmetto State. The bill would allow breweries to sell up to 48 ounces of beer to a customer for consumption in a 24-hour period.
State law now limits breweries to 4-ounce pours at tastings, and brewers argue that the ceiling puts them a competitive disadvantage with their counterparts in free-pouring states like North Carolina. South Carolina is home to about a dozen breweries.
Jaime Tenny, president of the brewers association, said the approved measure is less than what supporters had hoped for but it is still a big step forward for the state.
“It’s a compromise, but at the same time it’s a huge victory,” she said.
Tenny said Gov. Nikki Haley has indicated that she will sign the bill into law. Haley’s office did not immediately respond to an email from a reporter seeking confirmation.
The association had pushed for allowing breweries to sell up to 64 ounces of beer to a customer for consumption in a 24-hour period.
The bill, however, ran into opposition earlier this year from critics concerned about the proposed limit and the potential for brewery visitors to get too inebriated on the high-octane beers during tours.
The bill appeared to be in jeopardy for a time, but a compromise on the lower sales limit allowed it to clear the Senate and then the House.
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.