Bill would allow on-site beer purchases at Breweries in GA

Published: Jan. 19, 2017 at 7:01 PM EST
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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- There will soon be a second brewery to sample craft beer made right in Augusta and state lawmakers are trying to pass a bill so you can buy beer at any Georgia brewery.

Georgia and Mississippi are the only two states where breweries cannot sell their beer directly to customers.

State representative, Ron Stephens of Savannah sponsers a bill to change that.

If this bill passes, it would be legal to buy a pint a beer from a breweries taproom. As of now you have to pay for a tour of the brewery to the drink the beer brewed there.

Mark Walters has brewed beer professionally for 20 years and is the brewmaster for Savannah River Brewing Company, the seecond and newest brewery planned to open up in Augusta.

He said it is strange Georgia still has this law to prohibit selling beer at a brewery.

"It's a little unusual especially with the way the craft brewing industry has been going," Walters said.

Walter said he and the others opening Savannah River Brewing Company loved Augusta, but it did take time to decide if they should open it in Georgia or across the river.

"It's a very difficult decision when you're trying to locate a brewery and here in Augusta we were so close to the South Carolina state line," Walters said.

Georgia Senator, Harold V. Jones II of Augusta said craft beer is a growing trend and this bill could be good for Georgia as a whole.

"This is an oppurtunity to continue a different type of economic developmnent but continue the economic developmnent for the state and for the city," Senator Jones said.

Walters said this could also bring more craft beer and people to Augusta.

"The more breweries there are around the more people will come into a community to try the different breweries," Walters said.