News: Quick Takes

N.C. House files companion measure to Senate ‘brunch bill’

The North Carolina House on Thursday filed a companion bill to Senate Bill 155.

The so-called “brunch bill” would allow restaurants to sell alcohol before noon Sunday.

But, more important to the state’s burgeoning distilling industry, the bill would increase purchase limits from one bottle to five bottles per customer.

It would allow the creation of a special permit letting distilleries offer free tastings at events, such as trade shows, conventions, street festivals and state ABC stores, following the lead of other states. Distillers could pour no more than 1.5 ounces in total per customer.

House Bill 460 is identical to the Senate version.

Reps. John Bradford, R-Mecklenburg; Ted Davis Jr., R-New Hanover; Jon Hardister, R-Guilford; and Duane Hall, D-Wake; are the bill’s primary sponsors.

Distillers are excited about the possibilities of the measures, especially the chance to offer tastings outside the distillery and the chance to sell more than one bottle per person per year on site, the so called “one-bottle law.”

“This is extremely important to local distilleries,” Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, who sponsored the Senate bill, told us. “[North Carolina] has been very good to wineries and very good to the craft beer folks and we, in my opinion, need to level the playing field.”