Now that Senate Bill 290 and House Bill 363 have both passed and become law, I thought it timely to update the "What we can't have in NC" chart from my report earlier this year on North Carolina's ABC laws.
This bill would free up craft distilleries from burdensome rules that many of their peers in other states don't have to deal with. This could be particularly helpful for North Carolina's distilleries because distilleries are so dependent upon sales to local consumers.
Since the end of Prohibition, NC distilleries have faced a very restrictive regulatory environment, even more so than wineries and breweries. The good news is that relaxing these restrictions can bring about catch-up growth in the distillery industry here.
In two reports this year, the John Locke Foundation has made the case for modernizing and adopting a license model for liquor sales in North Carolina. That's the kind of model North Carolina already has for beer and wine.
That 7 percent threshold was hugely important for such an arbitrary cutoff. It was problematic for cideries for two reasons. One, cideries cannot perfectly control carbonation or alcohol content, but it’s normally between 5 and 8.5 percent. Two, producing a run with a little too much carbonation or alcohol content can result in enormous tax increases.