I am on my lunch break, so I have to make this quick. I have not been able to get an answer as to level of opposition in the full Senate. Therefore I highly recommend that you let your Senators know that you now support SB1224. The "pilot program" part has been removed. So what does this all mean? Frankly I suck at deciphering legal mumbo jumbo and none of my sources have posted any analysis yet. But in a nutshell you can look forward to:
*All TN brewers can brew high gravity beer with the proper license.
*With a restaurant license or limited license, high gravity beer can be sold and served on premises
*There will be a limit of 5 gallons (corny kegs) per person per visit.
*Tastings can be offered on premises, and I THINK retailers can do this as well.
As far as high gravity beer being sold in the liquor stores, that is going to remain the same because that is a distribution issue. Distributors have deep pockets and a strong lobby in the legislature- so don't expect that to change anytime soon. I hate that system as well, because it forces me to drive 15 miles each way to purchase high gravity beer. It's just not a very consumer-oriented way to sell beer, especially for those that live outside a metropolitan area. Beer should be sold under one roof. You don't see wine split up do you?
Because of the press and attention to craft beer in TN, there are plans to form a non-profit advocacy group so that brewers and consumers have a official and unified voice for lawmakers and the press. I'll keep you posted.
That's it for now. You all have your assignment. Let's hope for victory number 2 tomorrow.