WGHP Video about recent tap room law
11 Dec 2011 Dave
Liberty and Foothills brewers chime in on law change that may pave the way for New Belgium or Sierra Nevada (or both) to open breweries in North Carolina.
Some state craft breweries will be allowed to offer tastings and sell beer on site thanks to a law recently signed by Gov. Bev Perdue.
The new law gives breweries those privileges if they make more than 25,000 barrels a year.
One Piedmont brew pub quickly gaining popularity is Foothills Brewery in Winston-Salem. Brewmaster David Gonzalez said he is in the process of increasing production.
“We own a brewery across town that we’re building right now, and that hopefully will have a tasting room. We’ll be able to sell product in there, so that’s what this bill will do,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez currently makes 8,000 barrels a year with flavors ranging from Carolina Blonde to their award winning Sexual Chocolate Stout. Its new site should be open in a couple of weeks.
North Carolina is already home to the most craft breweries in the south, and they employ 100,000 people nationwide. Todd Isbell, brewmaster at Liberty Steakhouse, said the bill was signed in an effort to attract new breweries to the state.
“There’s a couple breweries, West Coast breweries, that are looking to come to this market and build East Coast breweries, so it would generate a lot of business, a lot of jobs and tax money,” Isbell said.
One of those breweries that’s talked about moving east is Sierra Nevada, Isbell said.
“Potentially, if Sierra Nevada came to North Carolina–and this isn’t set in stone, it’s just a potential–they could actually sell six packs of their beer in location,” Isbell said.
While overall beer sales were down a bit last year, craft beer sales were up by 12 percent.
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