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Archive for March, 2016

HR 1345, the resolution to create a study committee to research GA alcohol laws in relation to surrounding states, was not approved. Not only was it not approved, it never came up for a vote. I can only surmise it was deemed “unimportant”.

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Watch this video.  Go ahead and watch it now. It’s only 11 minutes long. I’ll wait on you before I continue with the rest of this blog.

All done? Great. That was Representative Michael Caldwell introducing HR 1345. It was intended to create a “House Study Committee on Craft Brewery and Distillery Competitiveness”.

He makes some great points. Let’s recap.

91 out of 180 House members signed on as cosponsors. That is more than half the house and enough to pass the resolution if it came to a vote. But of course that did not happen.

We are 1 of only 2 states that do not allow a brewery to sell beer directly to customers. 48 states do allow this and they have not imploded yet. (If you go to 7:43 in the video you will be told that means absolutely nothing and could actually be the reason that GA is #1 in business. Just wow.)

Breweries in GA are on average 2.5 times LESS profitable than breweries in other states. I can vouch for that one based on conversations I’ve had over the years with colleagues in other states. In fact, a large majority of the breweries in GA are losing money. Truth.

If we had the number of breweries per population as other states we could have an additional 12,700 jobs. Let me repeat that. We are missing 12,700 jobs due to the archaic brewery laws in GA. Those 12,700 additional jobs could reduce GA’s unemployment rate from 5.6% to 5.3%!!

Despite all of that, it was obviously decided to not be an important enough issue to study and learn more. To all the brewers and craft beer consumers in Georgia – DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT……RAGE, RAGE AGAINST THE DYING OF THE LIGHT!!!!

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Free the Beer so you can buy it here!You read that right. The state of Alabama just passed new legislation to help their craft beer industry. Read about it here.

At the same time Georgia is considering the creation of a study committee to look at laws in surrounding states. All of which are better, FYI. Only Mississippi and Georgia do not allow consumers to purchase beer at its freshest source – the brewery where it is produced. Think about that for a minute. 48 states allow beer to be sold at a brewery. But we don’t. Sounds like a legitimate reason for a Study Committee to me.

Please contact your GA State Representative and ask them to support HR 1345. For more info, check out this post. Go to the bottom and follow the instructions to contact your legislator.

You can also contact Rep. Rick Jasperse, Chairman of the Special Rules Committee, and let him know we need this study committee.

Cheers, John

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