Georgia breweries push for new laws to help grow business
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - There is more than just craft beer brewing at Eventide in Atlanta’s Grant Park. Management said they’ve had their fair share of ups and downs during the past nine years. And lately costs are up, and profit margins are down.
“If we didn’t have such great customer support from our local community we’d already be out of business,” Eventide Brewing CEO Nathan Cowan said.
Local breweries are dealing with the challenges of what they call antiquated laws in Georgia. For example, as it stands right now, they cannot sell their product directly to retailers. Instead, it must go through a distributor.
“It just puts a lot of unnecessary cost in the product and our margins are so thin and at our scale profitability is almost non-existent to move product through those channels,” Cowan said.
In addition, breweries are not able to make direct charitable contributions under the law which impacts their bottom line. And they can only sell a limited amount of beer to go.
“If you look at every state around us, they’re ahead of us by leaps and bounds,” Cowan said.
As a result, the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild is working with state lawmakers and just introduced legislation to change Georgia’s laws before breweries go out of business.
“Georgia bills itself on being one of the best states to do business which may be true for most businesses but for our small breweries, our small businesses that run breweries that’s not true,” Georgia Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Joseph Cortes said.
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