"Roll Out the Barrels" and the "Brunch Bill": Proposed North Carolina Legislation of Interest to the Alcohol Industry and Consumers

There are two bills pending in the North Carolina General Assembly this legislative session that may impact North Carolina breweries, distilleries, retailers, and consumers.  

The first is House Bill 67.  If approved, it would very simply increase the self-distribution cap from 25,000 barrels to 100,000 barrels.  A version of this bill seems to run every session, but there appears to be more coverage of it in the press this year than in years past.  A Senate version of this bill was also recently filed (Senate Bill 313).

The second bill is Senate Bill 155.  Some have nicknamed this the "Brunch Bill."  SB 155 has three main functions:

  • Distillery permit holders would be permitted to sell liquor for delivery outside North Carolina in compliance with the laws of the applicable jurisdictions;
  • Distillery permit holders would be allowed to conduct liquor tastings at public events subject to some restrictions; and,
  • Counties and Cities would be authorized to adopt ordinances allowing restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages for on premises consumption beginning at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

It is interesting to note that the third component would only allow restaurants to be permitted to sell beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays.  So, a brewery would not be allowed to sell alcohol prior to 10:00 a.m. on Sundays unless that brewery is also a restaurant.

House Bill 67 passed its first reading on February 9th and was referred to the House Committee on Alcoholic Beverage Control.  Senate Bill 155 passed its first reading on March 2nd and was referred to the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations.

Ward and Smith's Alcoholic Beverage Law and Government Relations teams are closely following the progress of these two bills.

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© 2017 Ward and Smith, P.A. For further information regarding the issues described above, please contact Derek J. Allen.

This article is not intended to give, and should not be relied upon for, legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. No action should be taken in reliance upon the information contained in this article without obtaining the advice of an attorney.

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