There is a mixology of beer and liquor laws this week. Two bills signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster last week will expand how breweries can serve drinks.
One will let brewpubs sell liquor in addition to craft beer. Under the previous law, breweries that obtained a liquor license were forced to release their brewing permit or had to chose which type of drink to sell. Now local breweries and distilleries can sell their goods under the same roof.
South Carolina Brewers Association Executive Director Brook Bristow said that craft breweries in South Carolina have benefited from growing support in the Statehouse.
Craft beer has grown, “at a very rapid clip compared to those in other states in terms of changing laws,” he said. “South Carolina has been on of the most progressive in changing laws quickly.”
Bristow said beer tourism generated nearly $455 million for the state’s economy in 2015.
The money generated around beer tourism can now go towards charities and nonprofits as a result of the other bill that cleared Gov. McMaster’s desk. Nonprofits hoping to loosen the pocket books of its supporters can now serve beer donated from breweries across the state. Bristow says this will help breweries contribute to causes they believe in.
“As they are a local business, you know, there aim is to support their local community and the folks in it,” said Bristow. “That certainly goes to non-profit organizations they are passionate about.”
Any nonprofit organization would have to apply for a special event license serve donated beer. In the past companies were not able to donate alcoholic beverages to non-profit companies. The new law will let craft breweries to staff and serve at non-profit events with the proper permits.