News

House passes ABC reforms, bill heads to Senate for concurrence

The N.C. House on Thursday, July 11, after years of contentious debate and myriad failed efforts, were finally able to pass a bill, in an 86-28 vote, that would align craft distilleries more closely with rules governing wine and craft beer. The bill, Senate Bill 290, has already passed the Senate, 39-4, and returns to...

John Trump
News

Alcohol bills blended in House, appear likely to be law soon

The N.C. House is poised to pass Senate Bill 290 — which passed the Senate, 39-4, June 25. A new version of S.B. 290 on Wednesday, July 10, passed the House Rules Committee. Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, announced in the meeting the bill had been combined with House Bill 536, which cleared the N.C. House,...

John Trump
News

N.C. craft distillery bill clears Senate, heads to House

A bill that would ease restrictive regulations on N.C. craft distillers is closer to becoming law. The N.C. Senate on Tuesday, June 25, passed Senate Bill 290, Distiller Regulatory Reform Bill, 39-4. It was sent by special message to the House. An amendment to the bill clarified some of the language in the bill and...

John Trump
News

Distillery reform ‘game-changer’ passes key Senate committee

A bill that would align laws for North Carolina craft distilleries more closely with rules governing wine and craft beer easily cleared the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, June 18. It now heads to Senate Rules. Senate Bill 290, Distiller Regulatory Reform Bill, would allow N.C. distilleries to sell malt beverages and unfortified and fortified...

John Trump
Opinion

New craft beer law could be first of many needed alcohol reforms

Lawmakers have offered several proposals to repair the broken, outdated way the state governs alcohol through the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control system. About a dozen bills, in fact, are moving through the General Assembly, and one, House Bill 363, the Craft Beer Distribution and Modernization Act, is now law. H.B. 363 allows breweries that sell...

Becki Gray

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News

Bill giving distilleries more freedom from ABC control moving in Senate

A measure that North Carolina craft distillers are counting on to help them thrive and, in some cases, simply survive is moving in the General Assembly. Senate Bill 290 was amended and debated Wednesday, June 5, in the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee, but no vote was taken. It’s expected to be approved at the next...

John Trump
Opinion

New campaign against ABC reform rests on recycled arguments

Please, send this one back. It tastes bitter. Opponents of measures that would relax North Carolina’s arcane — punitive, even — ABC laws are running out of new arguments, which are becoming more pervasive, more hard-edged. The clock, they know, is ticking. These alcohol opponents are quick to cite studies relating alcohol to traffic fatalities,...

John Trump
News

Craft distillers’ group says state ABC monopoly harms producers, consumers

The Distillers Association of North Carolina, calling the state’s system of controlling liquor “an 80-year-old regulatory scheme,” is urging lawmakers to reform and modernize the antiquated system. Such moves, DANC says in a statement, would be to the “benefit of our state and its citizens.” “The state’s distillers are denied the right to self-distribute and...

John Trump
News

Virginia is a control state, but its model is friendly to that state’s distillers 

For North Carolina’s distillers, getting their products into ABC stores is arduous and time-consuming.  Distillers must first check all the boxes pertinent to federal and state laws. The state must then approve their products before distillers send those products to Raleigh for distribution to ABC stores across the state.   Which stores is up to distillers,...

John Trump
News

North Carolina’s monopolistic system of controlling liquor is broken, but will lawmakers fix it? 

Head distiller Chris Jude steps through a door at the High Wire Distilling Co. in Charleston, South Carolina. Jude, who’s from Boone, enters the tasting room and bar, making the short trip from the place spirits are made to the place spirits are served.  Customers sitting at the long bar can distract themselves by peering...

John Trump
News

Clemmons the latest N.C. town to allow alcohol sales earlier on Sundays

Count the village of Clemmons as the latest N.C. municipality to allow the sale of alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday mornings. About 19,000 people live in the village, a suburb of Winston-Salem in Forsyth County, home to breweries, wineries, and several distilleries, including Old Nick Williams in nearby Lewisville. The Clemmons Council narrowly passed...

John Trump