Georgia might be back to square one.

Discussion in 'US - South' started by ndepriest, Sep 29, 2015.

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  1. ndepriest

    ndepriest Initiate (155) Feb 21, 2012 Georgia

  2. floridadrift

    floridadrift Initiate (0) Oct 24, 2014 Florida

    Money money money monae!!! Money!
  3. emr25

    emr25 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2011 Georgia

    I'll wait until the dust settles, but at first glance this is bad news for GA. I would imagine it has something to do with the CC See the Stars and SweetWater BBA Imperial Stout bottle releases. That plus the fact that the distributors do a good job of lining the pockets of those in the political realm.
  4. ScottDawg7

    ScottDawg7 Initiate (80) Jul 27, 2015 Georgia

    Any word if this impacts the Terrapin bottle release on 10/1?
  5. factory

    factory Initiate (88) Jun 25, 2010 Georgia

    I'd actually say there are others that have exploited this more than these two. Nothing against them at all.

    And I'm moving. Who will take me in?
  6. scbeerman

    scbeerman Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2015 South Carolina

    Oh, for fuck's sake. This is absolutely ridiculous. Those BAs who happen to reside in Georgia need to start writing their representatives again and maybe putting some opinion pieces in the local papers. No politician likes to be labelled "anti-business" except maybe Bernie Sanders.
  7. emr25

    emr25 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2011 Georgia

    I wasn't intending it to mean CC and SweetWater were exploiting the letter of the law for SB63, just that they were two higher profile releases that I am sure the wholesalers were not thrilled about due to missing out on their usual percentage of the proceeds.

    I agree, these archaic and ridiculous laws our state is coming up with makes it hard to support and encourage local breweries, as you saw in the CC article posted on the Reddit page, it will eventually start losing our state a bunch of revenue when our best and biggest breweries move production elsewhere.

    TBBAGBIF Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2015 Georgia

    The Sweetwater release is small potatoes. It's very limited and that beer will see pretty wide distro (similar to Pit & the Pendulum if I'm not mistaken). And the Creature Comforts tour was perfectly legal even under the new rules. There was a set price for a tour and everyone paid the same price. Actually, I take that back. The special tour from 11-1 was perfectly legal. The buy 1 or two bottles and a glass for $30 / $60 would not be legal, as the price is tied to the amount of alcohol one got as a souvenir. To be legal they needed to have a set price that everyone paid, or tie the increase in price to another souvenir ($30 = 1 bottle and 1 glass; $60 = 2 bottles and 2 glasses--I believe that would be legal).
    Jshari223 likes this.
  9. weaverr

    weaverr Aspirant (203) Jun 10, 2008 California

    It was only a matter of time. SB63 was pretty explicit in its definition of "free souvenirs." I don't know why the Brewers Guild started providing the guidance that they did, but here we are. I actually think that the way Creature Comforts did See The Stars was mostly ok, other than they did advertise it as a bottle release and later started associating the price per tour with the number of bottles you received.

    Honestly I think this is the problem:

    Burnt Hickory is not advertising tours. They are advertising growler fills and bottle sales with discounts for volume purchase. This is explicitly illegal. The end result here is that breweries need to offer tour tiers and not tie them directly to bottle prices. It's politics as usual in this state and 3 months ago we were all agreeing on this forum that the gray area would get ironed out as brewers continued to test the fence. Well it turns out the electricity is still on.

    Although let's be honest, Savannah Distributing was one of the largest financial opponents of SB63 and they distribute Creature Comforts. I'm sure someone was upset they didn't get to distribute See The Stars and this is them throwing around their weight.
    PurdueBrewCrew likes this.
  10. ScottDawg7

    ScottDawg7 Initiate (80) Jul 27, 2015 Georgia

    How much would they have made distributing the limited production See the Stars (only 600+ bottles)? And how many accounts would have even received any?
  11. weaverr

    weaverr Aspirant (203) Jun 10, 2008 California

    It's about control and power, not profit and relationships.
  12. PurdueBrewCrew

    PurdueBrewCrew Initiate (0) May 28, 2015 North Carolina

    Yep exactly. If this is the kind of game the Georgia distributors are going to play then Creature Comforts (and others) to do might want to retaliate by getting distribution deals in other states and then only selling those distributors limited releases until the Georgia ones get the picture.
    Mangbus likes this.
  13. elektrikjester

    elektrikjester Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2008 Georgia

    I understand what you're trying to say, but taking this approach would only serve to alienate Georgia consumers who comprise Creature Comforts' base. And alienating customers in your home state is no way to achieve this goal, particularly for many Georgia breweries that have yet to distro out of the state. That will change soon, however, as breweries such as Creature Comforts, Orpheus, etc. begin to grow and may choose to seek out new markets.
  14. elektrikjester

    elektrikjester Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2008 Georgia

  15. emr25

    emr25 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2011 Georgia

    I was literally copy and pasting that link just now. It is a good read for those interested in the challenge of GA beer laws.
    elektrikjester likes this.
  16. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,282) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Bernie Sanders is not "anti-business". We live within a socialistic political system as of now, and his honesty about being a socialist is refreshing. He is not a dangerous man. As for this legislative and political business in Georgia, just know that the most powerful lobbies in many states are funded by beer and wine wholesalers. These relationships go way back and they strive and sue their way to keep control of all facets of the distribution business. It is an old boy network that is quiet, nebulous, and opaque. Alcohol is heavily regulated at every level, and lots of people get their hands in the mix. I have never liked any of it.
  17. elektrikjester

    elektrikjester Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2008 Georgia

    All too often, I think it is incredibly difficult to convey how hard Georgia BAs have worked to change things. It's too easy to denigrate lawmakers, which all too frequently devolves into a condemnation of Georgia itself as a backwards state. That characterization is a total reduction of reality.

    The truth of the matter is that many, many individuals want to see our laws change and have worked tirelessly for that happen. Yet, we face a hostile regulatory environment and entrenched interests. Change doesn't happen overnight.

    We have lots of great breweries in Georgia, and I'm proud to call them *Georgia* breweries. All we want is for them to succeed, and that success doesn't have to come at the expense of distributors or retailers, whom we also see as important to the success of Georgia's beer industry.
  18. scbeerman

    scbeerman Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2015 South Carolina

    The Bernie thing is just a joke based on the "outsider" perspective pushed by his campaign
    rgordon likes this.
  19. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,282) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    That's good. I would support the man if he had a chance in hell. I'm tired of Clintons and Bushes and I would love to see a Kasich or a Biden on the ticket somewhere. So, beer related, what's your favorite Palmetto State brew these days? And cheers!
  20. weaverr

    weaverr Aspirant (203) Jun 10, 2008 California

    If breweries didn't have to worry so much about stroking the egos of lawmakers, it would be fun to see the Brewer's Guild create limited edition trading cards. Each would feature a politician that mangled SB63 and how much each distributor donated to them. Then make those limited edition cards the non-alcoholic promotional item that delineated the difference between the tour with to-go souvenirs and without to-go souvenirs.
    TBBAGBIF likes this.
  21. scbeerman

    scbeerman Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2015 South Carolina

    Big fan of Coast 32/50 Kolsch. In my top 5 overall, actually. Just an incredibly flavorful and refreshing beer that beats just about anything most breweries offer anywhere. Cheers!
    rgordon likes this.
  22. HopDawg03

    HopDawg03 Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2015 Georgia

    This is a major setback, but gives us more reason to fight next time it comes up in the gold dome. We need a huge effort from everyone that can help. Similar to the huge fight the Floridians put up every time they are about to get screwed by new laws and they have a big boy like CCB leading the way. Yes, this time getting our bigger breweries involved (cough..SW..cough, didn't see them do anything last time). We need billboards in every brewery and brewpub with the emails, numbers, social media accounts of these politicians. This way people going on "tours" or sitting at a bar can sit there and call and email away on these politicians. If they are tipsy and technically aren't "nice, polite, or professional"--I don't care this time. Get pissed off and fight this thing tooth and nail this time!
    thatoneguymike likes this.
  23. asams10

    asams10 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2014 North Carolina

    What does this mean for Sweetwater's BA stout release coming up?
  24. ScottDawg7

    ScottDawg7 Initiate (80) Jul 27, 2015 Georgia

    Not sure what will happen with Sweetwater's release, but I got a reply from Terrapin yesterday about their Walking Dead release scheduled for this week and they said this all caught them by surprise and they should have an alternate plan in place by today.
  25. asams10

    asams10 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2014 North Carolina

    As a lover of your GA breweries (CC being my favorite, followed by Burnt Hickory, Orpheus and Terrapin), I would be a staunch supporter of each of them relocating to/opening a second location in North Carolina.
  26. elektrikjester

    elektrikjester Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2008 Georgia

    Respectfully, we Georgians would like to see them stay (and expand) in Georgia.
    GDawgs34, TBBAGBIF, mecmd and 2 others like this.
  27. asams10

    asams10 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2014 North Carolina

    Can't blame you. They're doing great things down there. And it gives me a reason to make road trips to Athens/ATL every so often. Hopefully some pressure on the lobbyists/politicians will get all of this settled and breweries will finally be able to run their business their way.
    HopDawg03 likes this.
  28. elektrikjester

    elektrikjester Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2008 Georgia

    Thanks. Considering the awesome North Carolina scene, that means a lot.

    I think this change will be a protracted process that will take some years. But I do think it will happen as long the stakeholders (particularly our breweries) can stay committed and if we can expand our cause beyond beer geeks to include the general public. In it for the long haul...
  29. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Zealot (524) Oct 28, 2010 Iowa

    I didn't digest that link completely, but at first glance that seem really freaking stupid.

    But it's the gov't . . . a stupid and illogical law is entirely possible
    HopDawg03 likes this.
  30. ndepriest

    ndepriest Initiate (155) Feb 21, 2012 Georgia

    Every brewery in Georgia has stopped sending beer home with people. It's all so infuriating.
  31. Dil_thebeerdrinking_do

    Dil_thebeerdrinking_do Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2014 Georgia

    Can we organize a protest of sorts? It seems calling into our governor is not working.
    asams10 likes this.
  32. Dil_thebeerdrinking_do

    Dil_thebeerdrinking_do Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2014 Georgia

    I for one am pissed. It's annoying, damn I hate politics.
  33. HopDawg03

    HopDawg03 Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2015 Georgia

    See the Stars event was soo sick, can't believe this is no more! Well, see y'all in FL, NC, & SC for sick bottle releases and buying a f'n draft at a f'n brewery!
  34. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Champion (891) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    Must be why creature comforts sent out a bunch of draft only brewery paradiso this week to some accounts.

    I've stopped trying to figure out Georgia's revenue laws.
  35. itsmetimd

    itsmetimd Initiate (45) Jan 28, 2009 Georgia

    It's ridiculous, I'm not even sure what to say about it anymore.

    As far as breweries moving, Moon River just announced that they intend to expand but with the laws the way they are now they've decided to cross the state lines into SC. I interviewed Chris Jones who is opening Georgia Brewing Company in Valdosta next year and he said they were very tempted to cross state lines and open in Lake City, FL. They prepared two business plans based around SB63 passing and not passing, and they've just had to rework their business plan based on this policy bulletin.

    The DOR has made it pretty clear they don't give a damn what the GCBG or GA brewers want. Here's the response the GCBG received when they requested a meeting with the DOR to discuss this policy bulletin.

    "Thank you for contacting the Georgia Department of Revenue regarding the Policy Bulletin governing facility tours released last Friday, September 25th. I forwarded your meeting request to the appropriate persons within the Department and have been informed that a meeting will not be accommodated at this time. The Department is firm in its reading of the law as set forth in the bulletin and will not be entertaining any alternative interpretations."
  36. MOVERTON1284

    MOVERTON1284 Initiate (0) Jul 23, 2014 Alabama

    It is sad when Alabama laws, which really suck, are better than GA laws. Considering the population difference and having a major city like Atlanta.
  37. porknwhiskey

    porknwhiskey Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2012 South Carolina

    SC laws looking good for breweries looking to move. Stupid move by GA lawmakers.
    tillmac62 likes this.
  38. tillmac62

    tillmac62 Poo-Bah (1,830) Oct 2, 2013 South Carolina

    Cross the border boys, you ARE VERY WELCOME in SC.
    porknwhiskey likes this.
  39. asams10

    asams10 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2014 North Carolina

    I hate to say it, but it's looking like the only way that these laws will change is if a brewery such as SW, Terrapin or CC move their production and product out-of-state. I know this isn't likely to happen because of the hometown ties that these breweries have in GA, and I'm sure that's what the lawmakers are banking on to keep the breweries there. If they were smart (wishful thinking for a bunch of politicians) they would look at the expansion of breweries like Sierra Nevada, Stone, New Belgium, etc and see that they've been passed up most likely because of the strict laws.
  40. elektrikjester

    elektrikjester Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2008 Georgia

    My opinion, which isn't worth much:

    1. We need to get past this "Georgia sucks" mentality. While I'm not calling out any BA's in particular, we need to disentangle our state and its awesome beer culture from its legislators and regulators. They are not the same thing.

    2. We need keep our existing breweries healthy in Georgia. I'm not sure exactly what all that means, but it probably goes something like this:

    a) Continue buying their beer, to the extent that you appreciate Georgia breweries and their products. Boycotts are tempting, but they primarily attack retailers--who appear to have been tentative in this whole process. They impact distributors much less so and damage the brewers in the process. Unless a boycott is carried out in totality and with a clearly communicated message, it will only do harm. Even if successful, there will be *lots* of collateral damage.

    b) Continue going on tours, even if they're the tours we don't want. Tours offer opportunities to sample beers that brewers can bring to market and offer an opportunity to interact with and support our brewers. Show our brewers some love.

    c) Call your legislator. Yes, there are certain legislators who have been associated with SB 63, both in support and in opposition. While you certainly can (and should) contact them, legislators are only responsive to their immediate constituents.

    For me, that means my delegation from Marietta and my support for Red Hare (and maybe Burnt Hickory to a lesser extent). What's that, you say? "I don't prefer Red Hare to, say, Three Taverns or Orpheus," you say? It doesn't matter. Red Hare is my *local* brewery in my and my legislator's *local* business, and what's good for Red Hare will be good for every other brewer.

    3. We need to get some outreach to the public at large. Change is only going to happen if we can expand this issue beyond the likes of BA, Reddit, and actually get out there and get some bigger support. People are already trying, so that's not an accusation. Just a reminder about what it's going to take. We have to get the average, everyday beer drinker--the "kinda sorta" craft beer drinker onboard. Again, I don't know how we're going to pull that one off.

    4. Our message will need to be "pointed" and "nuanced" at the same time. I think we all have the "pointed" part down pat--direct sales by breweries. The "nuanced" part is going to be tougher--that we're not trying to get rid of or destroy distributors. They'll always have a part in the process. But it is about fairness for the brewers and moving past short-sightedness. It's also about being truly "pro-business," and this is something we really need to press as an issue publicly. If Georgia's legislators are as pro-business, pro-free market as they profess to be, it's time for them to live up to their words. We already know that many of them are not--they protect established, moneyed interests. But we need to call out hypocrisy publicly.

    Probably enough rambling for the moment. @itsmetimd, I may cross-post somewhere on ATLBeer. Hope you don't mind.
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