Pint Bill compromise reached


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.


6 thoughts on “Pint Bill compromise reached

  1. Pingback: Good news for local beer breweries! - Greenville - Spartanburg - Simpsonville - Greer - Easley - Taylors - Mauldin - Duncan - City-Data Forum
  2. Pingback: Pint Bill passes 1st reading in Senate | Drink. Blog. Repeat.
  3. Pingback: Pint Bill passes S.C. Senate | Drink. Blog. Repeat.
  4. Pingback: S.C. House approves Pint Bill, moves on to governor for signature | Drink. Blog. Repeat.
  5. Encouraging to be sure, but, coming from Northern California (and moving to Greenville), I find these legal restrictions, on breweries, especially as they apply to Sunday, rather antiquated. I thought the South had moved beyond those old “blue law” days. Anyway, hope the governor signs the bill right away. And does that mean sales can begin on that day and will breweries be ready?

    • Alcohol in general is still looked at with a weary eye in the South. To a lot of people, alcohol is evil, plain and simple. Even when the economic impacts are the priority – as they were with this bill – a lot of people can’t get past the fact it means people can drink more.

      Blue laws are absolutely archaic, and they have taken a hit recently – beer and wine sales at stores are now legal in most of the state – but this is the Bible Belt, so they still hold fast in a lot of place.

      The bill goes into effect the day Gov. Haley signs it, and there’s no indication she won’t. But breweries won’t be able to sell pints until employees have all the required training. If they’ve taken care of that before it becomes law, they’re good to go, but I’m not sure how long it takes to get the training they need.

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