Just saw over at the BeerAdvocate forums that today a bill to lift South Carolina’s 6% limit on beer has made it through final passage in the SC legislature, and merely awaits the Governor’s signature to become law.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous. PTCSC didn’t exist in any organized form one year ago. Yet today they are celebrating success, which came with considerable help and funding from large wine & beer retail chain Total Wine, who hired the lobbyist that helped get the bill through the legislature. Also in their favor was that not only did they not encounter the level of opposition we have encountered from some beer wholesalers, the lifting of their ABV limit was actually passed as an amendment to a bill protecting the investments the state’s wholesalers have in promoting their brands. (That was a mouthful.) So contrary to what we’ve observed in Alabama, South Carolina’s beer wholesalers actively worked to get the ABV bill passed in that state.
In spite of my jealously, I am honestly very happy for South Carolina beer drinkers, and I celebrate with them. All craft beer lovers should rejoice anytime antiquated and harmful restrictions are removed from the sale of beer somewhere in these United States. Beer culture in the South was handed a victory today by the SC legislature, and I thank them.
Think about what this means for us, folks. Sometime (presumably) in the next week or two, the Governor of SC will sign into law the repeal of their 6% limit on beer. That will mean Alabama is no longer one of FOUR states with a 6% limit, but one of only THREE states with a 6% limit. Prohibition-era laws are dropping like flies in the Bible Belt. Let’s not let the momentum die with us. Let’s keep it going.
Just last week I heard from some folks who are about to launch a grassroots campaign in Mississippi to lift that state’s 6% limit. I know there’s currently a bill in front of the West Virginia legislature to life that state’s 6% limit. We are on the verge of seeing the entire country throw off one of the last remaining vestiges of Prohibition.
It’s an exciting time for those of us who appreciate good beer. Let’s all raise a glass and toast the success today in South Carolina.