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Want beer? Georgia’s craft breweries can sell it to you under bill passed by Senate

The Georgia Senate voted Thursday to allow beer lovers to buy directly from Georgia’s craft breweries and brew pubs.

 Senate Bill 85, sponsored by Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee Chairman Rick Jeffares, R-McDonough, represents what Jeffares called a “great compromise” to end a decades-old stand-off between the brewers and the state’s beer wholesalers who for years have fought to protect their position as middleman between beer manufacturers and retailers.

The bill allows a consumer to buy up to a case a day directly from a brewery to take home and to buy a beer to drink on site. Brewpubs would also be allowed to sell beer to customers to take home. Finally, the bill ends the complicated tour-system lawmakers adopted in 2015, which allowed brewers to give away their beer to anyone who purchased a brewery tour.

The legislation now goes to the state House. If it passes there, it would go into effect Sept. 1.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will again have Georgia’s largest team covering the Legislature. Get complete daily coverage during the legislative session at myAJC.com/georgialegislature.

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