Georgia beer bill now law, plus what’s next for breweries

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Georgia governor Nathan Deal has signed Senate Bill 85 into law, The state’s breweries will soon finally have the freedoms they have been so desperately seeking. The only downside? It doesn’t go into effect into September 1st.

Until the passage of this bill, breweries selling beer directly to consumers was illegal. In all reality, the way breweries were forced to do this is nothing short of confusing and downright wrong. If you live in a state where you can enjoy a pint directly at the source, consider yourself lucky. Most in Georgia sure haven’t been able to.

First of all, breweries have had to pay taxes on the beer they produce to the government. They are allowed to sell tours and give away 36 ounces on site, and depending on your tour price point, up to 72 ounces of “souvenir beer” to-go. In theory, no one is buying beer, just tours.

From a tax standpoint, the brewery pays production taxes, collects taxes on tours, and is forced to pay taxes on the souvenir beer going out the door, even though it’s illegal to sell it to the consumer. Sound messed up? You aren’t the only one.