I almost missed posting this before it’s too late. According to the new grassroots organization, Support Your Local Brewery, there’s legislation in Georgia that will be bad for small brewers and their ability to offer samples of their beer at their brewery during tours. The vote is on Tuesday, June 19 so if you’re in Georgia contact your Congressperson as soon as possible, and no later than the end of the business day on Monday.
John has also included a suggested message to send, and Support Your Local Brewery suggests you visit the Beer Serves America web site for detailed information on the economic contribution of Georgia’s beer community to state coffers. Please consider including some of this information in your message to underscore the valuable economic contribution being made, which in no way should be jeopardized.
Thanks for your support in protecting Georgia’s brewers and beer consumers.
If you want to read the a synopsis of the bill itself, you can view it at the SYLB website.
From John Cochran of Terrapin Beer Co.:
All Georgia breweries need your help. We recently received notice that the Georgia Department of Revenue has decided to change the rules that apply to tours at breweries in Georgia. The new proposal calls for a limit of a 2oz pour of each beer style on the tour with a maximum limit of only 16oz. The 16oz pour is only possible if we have eight different styles of beer to offer on the tour. If a brewery only has four beers available to taste, then only 8oz can be poured at the tour.
It is the belief of the Georgia breweries, and our wholesalers, that the proposed rule change would effectively kill the tours. Since the breweries have spent significant sums of money on tasting rooms for the purposes of conducting tours this investment would be lost. In addition it would cause the layoff of employees who now operate as tour guides and could cause serious harm to the bottom line of all breweries. The tours are our main marketing tool and by losing the ability to continue tours as they are currently structured, we would lose customers, lose sales, and find it much more difficult to continue in business.
If you have enjoyed tours at Sweetwater and Atlanta Brewing in the past and you would like to continue to enjoy tours at those locations and at Terrapin Beer Company (tours starting this fall if these proposed changes do not take effect) then please take the time to help fight for our rights.
Atlanta Brewing, Sweetwater and Terrapin have worked together to craft a response to the proposed rule changes. If you agree with us that the proposed rule change is egregious and will harm the brewery tours and thereby harm our businesses, please take the time to send the attached response to the Department of Revenue, as indicated below.
E-mail your comments to email@example.com and be sure to include a reference to “NOTICE NUMBER AT-2007-1” on any correspondence you send.
The SYLB also helpfully has a template of a short letter you can use to send, which I reprinted below:
To: Commissioner Graham
Re: Notice Number AT-2007-1
The Georgia Department of Revenue has proposed a significant change in the states’ long standing policy on service limitations for brewery tours. The proposed new rule will adversely affect my decision as a customer of the breweries, to attend the tours. By doing so it will also put at risk the brewer’s investment in facilities designed to attract and accommodate tour attendees such as myself and will severely limit the marketing and sales of the brewery’s products. I oppose adoption of the proposed rule change and respectfully urge the department to withdraw proposed rule 3a.
YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS HERE
If you can help out, please send in your comments as soon as possible. The craft beer community thanks you for your help.