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Craft breweries praise introduction of legislation that will support job creation, economic growth

Raleigh, NC – North Carolina craft breweries are praising the introduction of legislation that would modernize North Carolina craft brewing laws by eliminating unnecessary, burdensome regulations. Introduced by Chairman of the House Alcohol Beverage Control Committee Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson) today, the ABC Omnibus Legislation (HB 500) would help create jobs, spur local investment in North Carolina’s urban and rural communities, and raise the cap on the amount of beer a craft brewery may distribute itself before contracting with a wholesaler. The legislation is cosponsored by Representatives Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg), Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) and Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford).

“The goal of this legislation is to remove unnecessary barriers that prevent the growth and success of our state’s craft breweries,” Chairman McGrady stated. “North Carolina is home to more than 200 craft breweries, and we are the second fastest growing state in the nation for beer production. This commonsense legislation will allow these small businesses to compete in the market, create local jobs and fuel economic growth in their communities by giving small breweries control over the marketing and sale of their own product.”

Under current law, breweries are required to contract with a wholesale distributor for all of their product once they produce more than 25,000 barrels of beer annually. HB 500 would lift the production cap to 200,000 barrels, giving craft breweries more flexibility over where and how they sell their product.

The legislation, if passed, is estimated to have an immediate economic impact of 10 million dollars in investment and 100 jobs in North Carolina. Over the past five years, North Carolina craft brewers have seen significant economic growth with an estimated annual economic impact of more than $1.2 billion dollars. The industry also produces more than $300 million in wages and 10,000 new jobs annually in North Carolina.

Craft Freedom founder and spokesman John Marrino of The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, founders of NoDa Brewing Todd and Suzie Ford, and Kristie Nystedt of Raleigh Brewing all praised this legislation.

“Together this legislation represents some of the best work of not only Craft Freedom, but all supporters of North Carolina’s craft breweries,” they said in joint statement. “We are very grateful for the enthusiasm we have received throughout this process. When enacted, this legislation will allow for continued growth and investment in our state, which will translate into job growth in the manufacturing sector of North Carolina’s homegrown businesses. We hope the members of the General Assembly take this opportunity to provide a much needed opportunity to expand our economy, as they have done in the past.”

Craft Freedom is a non-profit organization created in 2016 to help promote an informed electorate around craft brewing business issues. Supporters of Craft Freedom come from all over North Carolina. More information can be found at CraftFreedom.org.

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