Some of the most absurd local regulations breweries deal with involve arbitrary production caps. These are the ones where some people in a room, years ago, made up a category, like microbrewery, stated what production level qualifies (like 25,000 bbls) and then put restrictions on what that company is able to do once it goes past said threshold, essentially encouraging a growing business to intentionally limit itself or drastically change its operations in some way.
The good brewers of North Carolina are hoping to see their production limit lifted. I used their situation for my rant above. Produce over 25,000 bbls, and you are no longer a microbrewery, which means you now must use a distributor.
From the Fox affiliate in Flair Country (Charlotte):
“That means more and more beer would be produced outside the state, said John Marrino, co-founder of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. “[That] means we’ll be sending our money to breweries in other parts of the country as opposed to sending money to local breweries where it is invested into the local economy.”
Marrino and the founders of various other local breweries are leading the charge in the fight against this law. NODA Brewing Company co-founder Todd Ford says they and Olde Meck are two of 50 breweries participating in the fight statewide. Their opponents are macro brewers, like Budweiser, companies Ford says they can’t compete with.
If NODA were to produce more than 25,000 barrels, the 11 people working in the breweries sales and distribution department would have to be laid off. Ford says that’s not an option for him or Marrino. Instead, they want to see more tap in not out of the city’s craft beer scene.
In the meantime, North Carolina microbreweries, if you need some help with your distribution contracts, this feature ” Distribution contracts: What to know before you sign,” may help.