The Beer Jobs Bill Isn’t Having the Desired Effect

Senate Bill 63, AKA the Beer Jobs Bill was supposed to let microbreweries expand their presence in the Peach State. Yet, two months after the law’s going into effect, nothing much has changed, at least for some Athens area breweries. From the Athens Banner Herald:

Since July 1, breweries, including Terrapin and Creature Comforts, have been allowed to sell up to a six-pack of beer to visitors to with them after going on a tour.

However, most of those visitors didn’t want to buy beer to take home. In fact, they didn’t even know they could, said Carmen Miranda, brewery tour and events manager at Terrapin.

“It’s something that we were so excited for and something that we really pushed, but then we realized that outside of the brewery no one knew about it. It took a little explaining to people that you could buy beer at the brewery now,” Miranda said.

Was Senate Bill 63 oversold as a way to bring beer tourism to Georgia, or did the changes made in committee limit the bill’s effectiveness? Maybe, as envisioned in the ABH story, things will pick up now that UGA is back in session and football season is about to start. If not, should the issue be examined again next year?

6 comments

  1. Raleigh says:

    Not bringing in enough jobs? Well it’s not because I and several on this board are not doing our part.

  2. southernpol says:

    I went to Terrapin yesterday. They are only selling 6 packs and 4 packs of tall boys. And it’s the same stuff you can get in the store — they aren’t putting any specialty beer in containers. No growlers. I’m not going to buy beer at a brewery if it’s the same stuff I get in a store. They seem to have made a business decision to not adjust to take advantage of the law — and both are big enough that they probably don’t need to.

    Talk to Reformation brewery where they’ve hired / put on staff 4 additional people. Or check out Burnt Hickory where they are taking advantage of this in a big way. Growlers, off-shelf, limited release beers, etc.

  3. itsme_timd says:

    The law change is only two months old at this point and many people don’t even know about the change.

    One thing that was said by retailers and distributors when pushing for the passage of SB63 was that it would hurt retailers. Many people said that would not be the case, as only a few people close to those breweries would get their regular beers at the brewery. However the law change will allow the breweries to do special releases (like Burnt Hickory, Three Taverns, Wild Heaven, and Sweetwater have done) that will get people in to get a beer they can’t get at a store, or that they can get at the brewery first. Some breweries are also offerings special beers or variants at the brewery that you can’t get anywhere else, Burnt Hickory does this a lot. If a brewery is only offering their regular beers in bottles or cans to-go (like Terrapin) then it’s not going to be a big draw for sales. Most people will go to the brewery and enjoy their 36 oz of samples then grab some more beer at the store later. Let’s see how Terrapin handles the release of their next Reserve Series beer, if they do a brewery release I guarantee they’ll see strong sales for it.

    As mentioned by Jason Pellett of Orpheus one of the biggest changes here is that breweries no longer have to give their product away for free to visitors, Orpheus saw 35-40% of people on their tours opting for the free tour and tasting.

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