Proposed Georgia law would allow breweries to sell beer to customers

Riverwatch Brewery owner, Brey Sloan, pouring some beer at her company's taproom.

AUGUSTA (WJBF) — A proposed Georgia law would give craft breweries the ability to sell their beer directly to customers.

Right now, breweries have to sell their beer to wholesalers who then sell to stores, restaurants and bars.

If the law is passed, the taps at Riverwatch Brewery in Augusta could be flowing a lot more.

“If it passes in its current form, which of course, there’s no guarantee, Senate Bill 85 will allow Georgia breweries to sell their beer on-site for on-site consumption and sell for off-site consumption, up to 288 ounces, which is a case of beer,” owner Brey Sloan told NewsChannel 6.

Currently, Sloan’s beers are only sold in kegs at restaurants and bars around town.

She can also sell tours to customers and on those tours, customers can get “free” samples of beer.

“It works for getting people in here and it works for people being able to try the beer without having to go to a restaurant. They can try everything that we have, but it is kind of a silly situation, so I’ll be happy not to have to explain that anymore,” Sloan said.

Under the proposed law, customers will be able to buy and take home one case of beer per day, however, Sloan can only sell 3,000 barrels worth of beer to customers per year.

“The Georgia Craft Brewers Guild has been working really hard to try and come up with something like this and this time, it’s a compromise bill between the Craft Brewers Guild and the Georgia Wholesalers Association, so having both sides agree to it before it was even submitted, makes it more likely that it will be passed,” Sloan said.

Sloan says she’s excited about the proposed changes because more sales means she’ll need to hire more employees.

The customers will also win.

“The consumers won’t have the middle cut, so they can get the beer at a little bit less of a cost then they can get it downtown,” Sloan said.

For more information about Riverwatch Brewery, you can check out the company’s website here.

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