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Sorry, we are short on cheeks….

October 2, 2015

Dale Carnegie said, “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.”  Unfortunately for Georgia breweries and brewpubs, there are no roses blooming outside their windows.  And unfortunately for the State of Georgia, there are magical rose gardens over the horizon.

At least two Georgia breweries and two Georgia brewpubs are looking to open up shop in another state – looking to leave our restrictive regulatory environment for greener pastures, for that magical rose garden where one can actually sell the product he or she makes directly to a consumer (Georgia breweries can’t sell to consumers; Georgia brewpubs can sell to consumers for on-premise consumption only).

  • Creature Comforts thinking about expanding not in Georgia, but another state: Creature Comforts
  • Moon River opening a brewery in S.C.: Moon River
  • Terrapin looking to S.C.: Terrapin
  • Brandon Hintz (owner of Hop Alley) opening brewery in N.C.: Brandon Hintz

This is great for my colleague, Brook Bristow – the premier craft beer attorney in S.C. and director of the S.C. Craft Brewers Guild. For Georgia, however, the place where I was born and raised, the place where I’ve decided to raise my family, this is bad…very bad.

After I read the recent bulletin published by the Georgia Department of Revenue, a sense of hopelessness engulfed me. Not because I think that we will not ultimately get what we want and what makes sense, both, socially and economically, but rather because we are being shutdown at every turn such that our gloves have to come off.

Over and over again the craft brewing industry in Georgia has tried to cultivate a good working relationship with the Department of Revenue, the Governor’s office, the Lt. Governor’s office, and even the beer wholesalers.  Jesus said turn the other cheek.  Well, bud, we are short on cheeks, downright out of em’ actually.

But I am not here to bash the DoR or the wholesalers or anyone for that matter.  I am here, however, to say that wrongs will be righted…reason will triumph over special interests…and then we will look out our windows to see those roses blooming…and the beer flowing.  I just hope that by that time we have not already lost some of our favorites  to another state.

Stay tuned.




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