News: Quick Takes

A pair of bills involving way N.C. governs alcohol on House calendar Tuesday

A pair of bills representing steps toward reforming the way North Carolina governs alcohol are on the House calendar for Tuesday, April 16.

The bills easily passed the House Rules Committee on Monday and should face little opposition.

One bill would give a boost to the state’s thriving beer market by adding another level of breweries.

House Bill 363, Craft Beer Distribution and Modernization Act, would maintain the current three-tier system — producers, wholesalers, and retailers — but add a new, mid-level classification of brewers to state law. Brewers, under the proposal, could self-distribute 50,000 barrels of their products, as opposed to the current 25,000.

The other bill clearing Rules on Monday would authorize public colleges and universities to allow the sale of alcohol at stadiums, athletic facilities, and arenas located on school property.

The measure, House Bill 389, expands existing legislation and also seeks to control consumption at NCAA events, such as football games, where drinking is prevalent but unregulated.

The House Committee on Alcoholic Beverage Control is scheduled to meet 3 p.m. Tuesday and take up House Bills 99 and 91.

House Bill 91 would require the merger of N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission systems in a county with two or more ABC systems. House Bill 99 would establish Alcohol Law Enforcement as a separate division under the Department of Public Safety, as well as to clarify the jurisdiction and primary responsibilities of ALE agents.