We start off 2016 with an encouraging update in the ongoing battle over on-premise sales for Georgia breweries. You’ll recall that mostly via a loophole brewers in Georgia were allowed to give beers to customers to take home from the brewery as a “souvenir” from a brewery tour. Depending on the souvenir the customer wanted, the price of the tour would vary. Everyone was excited for this new arrangement until the Department of Revenue sent out a Bulletin to suddenly and without warning end the practice. Here is the original story.
Since that the bulletin and ensuing uproar, House Speaker David Ralston came out in opposition to the bulletin, and now, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution (which is reporting the hell out of this saga) Senate President David Shafer is now urging the Department of Revenue to back off.
“To the extent that the regulations you have already promulgated require clarification, I believe that it would be more appropriate for you to do so through the formal rule-making process, with public notice of any proposed new regulations and opportunity for public comment and legislative oversight,” Shafer wrote in a Dec. 23 letter. “Accordingly, I would urge you to withdraw the Bulletin.”
The article goes on to note the significance of this letter considering that, in the past, Shafer has been aligned with the interests of the wholesalers. Head to AJC.com to read the full letter and inside info.