WOODSTOCK, GA -- Next week, new state regulations are expected to kick in that will make it easier to get a beer at a Georgia brewery. It concludes a political battle that has raged in the state for the better part of a year and a half.
In Woodstock, the man behind a brewery called Reformation is anxious for a little reformation in Georgia politics. "The reforms have been slow at times but we’re making progress," said Reformation co-founder Spencer Nix.
Progress at his brewery is not only measured per can, in a brewery where output has quadrupled.
It’s also measured in the advances brewers have made to loosen the grip of state regulations – like the ones that will allow brewers next week to actually let visitors purchase a tour and with it, take home a six pack of the product.
"Our breweries have been living in a regulatory no-mans land for a little while now. And we’re very happy to see that roller coaster end and have some definitive answers to a number of different issues," said Nancy Palmer, executive director of the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild.
"We’re getting into the beer season, if there is such a thing," said Nix, a Baptist preacher turned brewer who says he’s anxious to fill his newly-built beer garden with visitors – and potentially fill their satchels with cans of beer when they depart.
"It’s baby steps. That’s what it is in Georgia," Nix said. "There’s a long way to go. But perhaps the door is slowly starting to crack open."
The new rules also affect Georgia's craft distilleries. For details on the new regulations and how they affect drinkers, click here.