The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Study Commission will soon be visiting North Carolina as a state that has “responsible and progressive” laws related to the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages. We are very pleased that this state was selected as it is perhaps the best state in the south for a friendly craft beer environment.

[pullquote]North Carolina legislators and regulators have struck the right balance in providing an opportunity for incubator breweries to grow while, at the same time, recognizing that beer and other alcoholic beverages are unique products that need to be marketed and distributed in a responsible manner.
Tim Kent, North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association[/pullquote]

North Carolina’s Brewery Laws

North Carolina was basically the model state we looked at when we developed our Proposal Document for the Alcoholic Beverage Study Commission. If we want our brewing industry to be truly competitive, these North Carolina laws are perhaps an ideal environment.

  • Direct Sales in North Carolina
    • On- and off-premise sales are available to any brewery of any size
    • No transaction or “per person per day” limits
    • No package restrictions (kegs, 6-packs, growlers, etc.)
  • Self-Distribution in North Carolina
    • Available to any brewery under 25,000 barrels of annual production
  • Separate Retail Locations in North Carolina
    • Available to any brewery under 25,000 barrels of annual production
    • May operate no more than 3 retail locations in the state to sell its own beer and a reasonable selection of competitive malt beverage products
  • Brewpubs in North Carolina
    • There is no distinct brewpub license
    • However, a small brewery with less than 25,000 barrels annual production may operate a restaurant with a full bar by obtaining additional retail licenses.

Among it’s 100+ craft breweries, North Carolina in 2012 attracted Sierra Nevada with its $107 million production site. The year before, state lawmakers eased direct sales restrictions to attract the craft beer giant. Sierra Nevada was later followed by Oskar Blues of North Carolina and New Belgium is now hiring for their new Asheville location.