There are two bills that Mississippi’s emerging brewers are backing to do one simple thing – allow them to sell a moderate amount of beer where it’s made.
You can go to a bakery and buy bread or cookies right there on the spot. But you can’t do that for beer.
This is a little bit of a different deal, I understand. Since prohibition, we have had a three tiered system that was originally intended to make it where there weren’t cartels or black markets around alcohol. The company that made it had to deal with the company that distributed it who had to deal with the company that sold it. It made sure things stayed in line and that taxes were paid, etc. But just about every other state now has the ability for a consumer to go to a brewery and buy a pint or buy a case of beer to take home. Not a tremendously big deal.
However, there are some in the current system (with powerful lobbyists) that are generally screaming bloody murder saying that chaos will descend upon the state and that guys with handlebar moustaches who like craft beer will be running amok drunk on the public square after a tap room visit. I don’t know what it is about brewers and facial hair, but they’re into it and they’re roaming the halls at the Capitol. They also make good beer.
HB 1322 and it’s companion bill SB2613 have a slate of bipartisan support. For conservatives, these bills really should be no brainers. This is getting government off the backs of small businesses and removing unnecessary regulation that stifles growth. Based on estimates from the Brewers Guild, Mississippi brewers probably leave 25% of their profits on the table by not being able to serve guests in exchange for money. It’s got support from the MS Manufacturers Association, the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association and others.
It’s pretty common sense stuff and incremental change. And it’s our #msleg . . . #billoftheday.