Debate on allowing customers to take home more beer from Georgia’s craft brewers came to a head Friday: The state Senate agreed with the idea. But no one’s celebrating just yet.
Direct sales would still be banned, and the original proposal has been substantially watered down in the legislative process.
Still, the passage of Senate Bill 63 in one chamber is the most success supporters have seen in their years-long effort to expand just how much beer someone could get directly from their local brewery. It also helped the measure beat a key deadline and remain alive in the final weeks of this year’s legislative session, which is scheduled to end April 2.
Supporters have had to swallow heavy concessions in the process, as they watched Senate leaders strip the bill as a compromise to win support in the chamber. And now they face another battle in the state House, where they will again try to expand what has been dubbed the “Beer Jobs Bill” by its sponsor, state Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Smyrna.