• Craft beer sales deal OK'd by North Carolina Senate panel

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    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Agreed-to legislation from North Carolina alcohol wholesalers and small breweries over who distributes their product as the beer-makers grow is finding little resistance within the General Assembly.

    The Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee recommended on Wednesday following little debate the bipartisan legislation sought by the state's largest microbreweries, which don't like current limits on self-distributing their products. The measure already cleared the full House last month.

    Current law says once a brewery sells more than 25,000 barrels in a year, third-party distributors take over all sales, marketing and pricing. The compromise would double self-distribution to 50,000 barrels.

    Craft breweries in the state have grown this decade from 45 to over 200. Only a couple of these brewers produce enough now to potentially benefit in the near future.

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