Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) says the Department of Revenue needs to change regulations on craft beer sales from breweries after the agency blocked a new state law that allows beer sales to customers who take brewery tours.
In a statement he said, the new law, SB 63, “was meant to allow craft breweries – a growing industry of small businesses – to expand their operations and grow jobs across this state.”
“I trust that the Department of Revenue will want to abide by the legislative intent expressed in that bill and that they will take another look at their rules so that further legislation isn’t necessary,” Ralston said.
Abiding by the bill’s intent would likely mean revoking a regulation issued by the DOR in September that effectively blocked the law.
Jason Pellett , president of Atlanta’s Orpheus Brewery, said, if the block on the law is removed, it would be big for business.
“We would immediately be able to see more revenue,” he said.
Pellett said in addition to the block being removed, he’d like to see direct sales open up even more.
“We can’t sell by the glass which really limits how much of our really special beer we can even offer on a regular basis,” he said.
Breweries will be lobbying lawmakers during next year’s general assembly in the hope they’ll be allowed can sell more beer directly to Georgians.
The DOR did not respond to multiple requests for comment Wednesday.