For the fourth time in just seven years, the South Carolina legislature has passed new legislation, signed into law by the Governor, that fundamentally changes the craft beer scene in South Carolina. S. 114 allows craft breweries to donate their product to charities, in an effort to support the many good causes across South Carolina. It also allows brewers to participate in nonprofit events by pouring product and providing equipment.
S. 275 allows breweries to sell liquor, which is particularly helpful to the brewpubs in South Carolina planning to distribute their product, most notably Hunter Gatherer in Columbia and Edmund’s Oast In Charleston. Both bills were sponsored by South Carolina beer hero State Senator Sean Bennett (R – Dorchester) and gained bipartisan support in both chambers.
In 2013, South Carolina passed the Pint Law allowing craft brewers to sell pints on premise. In 2014, the Stone Law was passed allowing breweries to sell food on premise. These two new laws continue a trend of South Carolina’s lawmakers supporting the booming craft beer industry. According to SC Brewers Guild Executive Director Brook Bristow, because of these laws, the state has gone from 8 to 41 breweries.
“It’s exploding,” he says “in large part due to bipartisan support from legislators like Senator Sean Bennett and Representative Leon Stavirnakis.”
“We just want to thank the legislature and the Governor for supporting the hard-working small business owners who are helping fuel the state’s tourism industry,” said Chris Brown, president of the SC Craft Brewers Guild and co-owner of Holy City Brewing Co.
“We’ve gone from being one of the worst states for craft beer to being one of the best,” said Wesley Donehue of Frothy Beard Brewing Co. “If this trend continues, South Carolina will be one of the best states on the east coast for craft beer. We’ll bring in more tourists and create even more jobs. Let’s continue the march forward.”