North Carolina: Bill would let distillers sell liquor

on 07/05/11 at 9:02 am

Spirits

North Carolina distillers would be able to sell their own products to retail customers under legislation a state Senate committee will debate today .

If passed, it would be the first time since the repeal of prohibition that liquor could legally be sold by the bottle anywhere other than a government-run ABC store.

“We’ve found a new product up in the mountains called ‘moonshine,’” joked Sen. Martin Nesbitt , an Asheville Democrat, in a wink to backwoods distillers who for centuries have avoided legalities such as permits and taxes.

Nesbitt’s bill was inspired by a large-scale distiller planning to open in Asheville that would be part of the tourist trade, the senator told members of the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday. The committee is scheduled to vote today on whether the full Senate should consider the bill.

North Carolina wineries and breweries typically can sell their own products, Nesbitt reasoned. So why shouldn’t distillers?

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