New Regulations Hurt Georgia Craft Brewing Industry

Date: December 15, 2015

Recently tightened regulations are hurting the state's businesses.

Small businesses in the craft beer industry have been impacted by the Georgia Department of Revenue’s recently tightened regulations on SB 63.

Under SB 63, which went into effect July 1, Georgia brewers were allowed to charge for tours of their facilities and offer their product as a “free souvenir,” depending on how much the tour costed. This came after decades of alcohol sales being allowed only through a distributor.

As a result of this welcome change, brewers invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to build new tasting rooms, hire employees and market new tours, Georgia Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Nancy Palmer told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. However, the Revenue Department then released a bulletin in September stating that brewers could offer different levels of tours, but that the price differences of the tours could not be based on the value of the beer offered as a souvenir.

Georgia has allowed our state to become a poster child for over-regulation and overtaxation,” wrote Brooks W. Binder, an Atlanta lawyer who represents small and medium-sized businesses, in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed. “This system does not encourage or support the development of small business. Instead it creates confusion and retards economic development—to the detriment of our communities, local entrepreneurs and consumers.”

Related Content: Small Business News | Georgia

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