Haley signs bill for breweries’ pint sales

File photo

Kirsty Wigglesworth

Gov. Nikki Haley has signed a bill allowing pint sales at South Carolina breweries, paving the way for beer lovers to sample their favorite suds at their source.

Haley signed the bill into law Thursday, two weeks after the state House of Representatives gave final legislative approval to the measure.

The S.C. Brewers Association pushed the measure to enable breweries to bring in additional revenue and spur industry growth in the Palmetto State. With the change, breweries can sell up to 48 ounces of beer, or three pints, to a customer for on-premises consumption in a 24-hour period.

State law limited breweries to 4-ounce pours at tastings, and brewers argued that the ceiling put them at a competitive disadvantage with their counterparts in free-pouring states like North Carolina. South Carolina is home to about a dozen breweries, including one in Charleston, three in North Charleston and one in Mount Pleasant.

The law took effect immediately, but before breweries can start selling pints they must provide proof that they have the required liability insurance.

Jaime Tenny, president of the brewers association and co-owner of Coast Brewing in North Charleston, said each brewery has its own timetable for starting up pint sales. “We started yesterday, as soon as it passed,” she said Friday.

The association wanted to cap on-premises sales for consumption at 64 ounces per person, enough to fill an average growler. The approved measure represents a compromise with critics concerned about the potential for brewery visitors to get too inebriated on high-octane beers during tours.

Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556.