South Carolina May Join Party

A bill allowing the sale of stronger beer in South Carolina quietly took a step forward Wednesday, when a state house subcommittee sent it on to the full House Judiciary Committe.

The panel endorsed a bill that allows the sale of beer with up to 14% alcohol by volumne. The current limit is 6%.

Arguing for the sale of stronger beer, David Smith of Green’s Discount Beverage Stores compared gourmet beers to wines. Smith owns stores in Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach and Atlanta.

Nearby Georgia and North Carolina recently passed laws permitting the sale of stronger beers – in both cases after considerable lobbying from consumer groups.

Sales of stronger beers then flourished in both states. For instance, Georgia has become the No. 1 market for several Belgian beers.