Deal Reached On Craft Brewery Tours & Sales

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.

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MereJones
MereJones

This is an extraordinarly unpleasant turn of events. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Without fixing the legislation, this “agreement” allows the regulators to reregulate whenever they please. The key phrase to the discussion is “original intent” and this move is a way to bury the issue until session ends. It’s disingenuous to portray this as a “win” for craft brewers.

denkondec
denkondec

I disagree with your characterization of the rolling back to original intent is a “huge win”. The law passed last year was a kludge of a compromise, barely improving the lot of the brewers (and shafting the brewpubs). Only the huge outcry over the greedy overreach of the distributors to gut the legislative intent through administrative shenanigans prevented the erosion of the feeble gains.
So, lets hope next year will bring about a more open-minded legislature willing to reform antiquated beer laws for the 21st century.

EdReformer
EdReformer

Well it’s about time.

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Just want to stop by Monday Night Brewery, have a cold one or buy a 6 pack and leave. Seems in a Republican state that wouldn’t be so difficult.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

“Deal Reached On Craft Brewery Tours & Sales?”

So the Gov finally took a brewer’s call?