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'Brunch bill,' HB500 move forward in NC

Posted June 10

Two pieces of alcohol-related legislation took a step forward as the North Carolina House and Senate passed the bills to send them to the other chamber.

Brunch bill

Senate Bill 155, dubbed the Brunch bill, gives local cities and counties the choice to allow restaurants and bars to serve alcohol on Sunday beginning at 10 a.m.. The law currently does not allow sales before noon.

The bill has passed the state Senate but needs approval by the House to be made a law.

"This bill, if passed the way it currently stands, would allow beer and wine sales—on premise, off premise, wherever you are," said Margo Knight Metzger, executive director of the NC Craft Brewers Guild. Metzger and the Craft Brewers Guild support both bills.

The earlier sales would include grocery stores, breweries or anywhere else you buy beer.

"So, for anyone who's ever tried to order a mimosa at 11:30 and got that look from the server of pity, (this is for you)," Metzger said on the 919 Beer podcast.

House Bill 500

Though the bill was gutted of provisions to increase craft breweries' self-distribution limit, there are still significant moves to be made if the bill passes.

  • Crowlers: The bill would enable any beer retailer to fill the 32-ounce cans
  • Quality control: The bill would allow brewers to check (taste) the beer in the process of making it
  • Other beer sales: Allows tap rooms to sell beers brewed at other facilities
  • Let farm breweries serve beer on site

Like the Crowlers provision, which are available in some places, the bill seeks to clear up some gray area in North Carolina law.

"We're just trying to clarify," Metzger said. "So many of the provisions in H500 are clarifying provisions."

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Get the inside track on all things beer in the Triangle and North Carolina from the 919 Beer blog.