January 26, 2016 11:44 AM
Legislation will not be needed this year to fix the Department of Revenue’s recent re-interpretation of rules that govern Georgia’s Craft Breweries and the sales associated with their tours.
The AJC’s Aaron Sheinin has the scoop:
All sides have agreed to a regulatory solution that will avoid a fight over legislation this year. The deal, according to the Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association, means the Department of Revenue will issue new rules that will:
Allow brewers again to sell brewery tours at variable prices based on the kind of beer offered.
Allow special events at breweries and distilleries.
Let brewers, distilleries and wholesalers use social media to alert the public about where to buy their products or advertise special events.
Allow third parties to sell tour tickets.
Let breweries and distilleries sell food on site.
Craft beer “tours” are not an insignificant part of the emerging industries business model. One of Atlanta’s larger brewers told me a while back that he pays for the rent on his entire facility from the profits made on these events. That’s not an insignificant portion of fixed costs, especially to a business/industry that is emerging and expanding.
Thus, this rule change back to the original intent is a huge win for the Craft Brewers as they continue to gain political clout – clout that will only get stronger as they grow in number and financial health.