CHARLOTTE, N.C. - As of late last month, brewers in North Carolina can make — and sell — a lot more beer. Four times as much, in fact.
The state legislature passed the Craft Beer Distribution and Modernization Act last month, followed by Gov. Roy Cooper signing it into law on May 30 in a ceremony at a Raleigh brewery. Under the revised law, breweries can sell and self-distribute as much as 50,000 barrels of beer annually, twice as much as the previous limit. And the law allows for an additional 50,000 barrels to be sold by distributors, meaning the cap for North Carolina brewers is now 100,000 barrels per year. A barrel of beer equals 31 gallons.
“We all know that the beer industry is important to North Carolina’s economy,” Cooper, a Democrat, said last week. “We know it represents thousands of jobs for our state and tens of millions of dollars in investment.”
According to the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild, there are 300 breweries and brewpubs across the state, including more than 40 in Charlotte. The Brewers Association, a national advocacy group, ranks North Carolina 10th in the nation for craft-beer economic impact at more than $2 billion.
For industry perspective on the changes to the state’s craft-beer distribution limits, CBJ sat down last week with The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery founder John Marrino, who has invested more than $20 million expanding the Charlotte brewery since it was formed in 2009. Just steps away from Olde Meck’s 60-barrel brewhouse, Marrino reflected on what it took to find consensus with beer distributors — and how the expanded limits will help his company and others.
Read that conversation here.
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