After sweating it out for the past couple of weeks, South Carolina breweries and beer geeks on Thursday finally got a compromise on the state’s Pint Bill.
You’ll recall that a couple of weeks ago, Republican Greenville Sen. Mike Fair placed on objection on the Senate’s version of the legislation at the behest of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The bill couldn’t make it to the floor of the Senate for discussion or a vote until Fair removed his objection, and since last week, Fair, MADD and representatives from the S.C. Brewers Association have been working behind the scenes to work out a compromise.
Thursday afternoon, the details of that deal were finally released. Here’s what they worked out:
- The maximum individual on-premises consumption cap has been set at 48 ounces. That includes pints and samples. While lower than the 64 ounces originally hoped for, it still means you’ll be able to enjoy up to three pints at a brewery;
- Brewers will be fined for over-serving patrons. This, included with the original requirement that brewery workers go through DUI and safety training means more security for visitors and non-visitors alike;
- No beer above 10% ABW (12.5% ABV) can be served as a sample or a pint. You can still buy higher-ABV beers to take home, but you can’t drink them at the brewery.
With that compromise in place, Sen. Fair has reportedly lifted his objection, clearing the way for the bill to hit the Senate floor for a vote. When it gets there, Sen. Sean Bennett (R-Summerville) will introduce an amendment to replace the insurance requirement of $1 million per occurrence and $10 million aggregate.
No word on exactly when the bill will be hit the floor, but it’s safe to say SC beer geeks are breathing a little easier today.