A small change to North Carolina alcohol laws will open the door for a major expansion of the state’s craft brewery industry.
The legislation now before Gov. Bev Perdue is aimed at attracting Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, both of which are contemplating building new production plants in western North Carolina. Local brewers hope it further ferments the state’s reputation as a beer capital.
The legislature approved the change Monday as part of House Bill 796, a catch-all measure that also included fixes to recent laws governing community colleges and school funding.
If signed into law, the beer industry provision would allow all breweries in the state, regardless of size, to offer tastings and sell beer on site, even beers they produce outside North Carolina.