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South Carolina lifts ban on beer tastings and sales

Submitted by on July 14, 2010 – 10:31 am2 Comments

grahamhills' photostreamGreat news for South Carolina and the Southeastern craft beer scene in general.

The state’s legislature has lifted a ban on beer tastings and sales at breweries and on tastings at retail stores.

According to the new rules, a customer must tour a brewery before sampling or buying beer. Sales are limited to a case of beer per day.  Beer-and-wine retail stores can offer as many as 24 samplings per quarter.

S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford held a ceremonious signing of the bill this week at R.J. Rockers Brewery in Spartanburg, where he quaffed a sample of Son of a Peach, a wheat beer brewed with local peaches.

“Government has a duty to allow businesses as much freedom as possible,” Sanford said, according to The Associated Press. “We see no reason why South Carolina breweries shouldn’t be allowed to sell the products they make to consumers, and indeed we’d like to see more of this kind of deregulation in the future.”

The website of the South Carolina Brewers Association,  naturally a major backer of the bill, list 11 breweries and brewpubs in the state . That number now is expected to increase.

The new law will likely boost beer tourism to The Palmetto State and make it a more appealing destination for beer road trippers who already flock to North Carolina, which has become something of a mecca because of its large numbers of craft breweries, especially in the Asheville region.

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