"Asheville is becoming the craft brewery capital of the Southeast, if not the nation," Moffitt said, according to a report in the Raleigh News & Observer article:
Until now, state law reserved the beer garden niche to breweries that produced less than 25,000 barrels a year, using the cap as a way to help regulate alcohol sales. All of the state's approximately 50 small craft breweries fit under the ceiling in the existing law.
State Rep. Tim Moffitt, an Asheville Republican, said the change would help attract the Colorado-based New Belgium and the California-based Sierra Nevada to open East Coast production facilities, potentially creating about 275 jobs and more than $200 million in capital investments. ...
"Asheville is becoming the craft brewery capital of the Southeast, if not the nation," Moffitt said. "This was a small change in the law to allow our state to benefit from additional jobs and additional investment."
The bulk of North Carolina's current small breweries produce less than 20,000 barrels a year, but the two new companies could each produce about 200,000 barrels annually, officials said.
But by removing the cap, the law also would allow mega-beer producers, such as Budweiser and MillerCoors, to tread on the craft brewers' turf with tasting rooms. ...
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