The Georgia Craft Brewer’s Guild just announced HB 314 has been introduced into the Georgia General Assembly. The intent of this bill is to allow an extremely limited exception to the three tier system by allowing Georgia craft breweries to sell no more than 288 ounces of beer per person per day for off-premise consumption. This is affectionately becoming known as the “fill the growler” bill.
Before getting into why passage of this bill is important for all citizens of Georgia, one thing needs to be made perfectly clear. Terrapin, and the other breweries in GA, are all supporters of the current three-tier system of alcohol distribution. There is no doubt that without our distributors as our business partners, Terrapin would be nowhere as successful as we are today. We are in no way trying to change or disrupt the current three-tier system in Georgia. In fact, if this HB314 were to pass, 99% of all beer sold in GA would continue to go through the beer distribution network.
However, the current restriction on brewery sales for off-premise consumption is putting Georgia at a huge disadvantage. To the best of my knowledge states that currently allow some form of off-premise sales at breweries include: Alaska, Arizona Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Washington DC.
Do these states know something that we do not?