May 27, 2014
Scratch that- too many words and emotion.
I always envisioned the day where all the ridiculous restrictions placed on breweries would be gone. It just happened a little faster than I thought.
In 2005, I founded Pop the Cap SC to rid us of that ridiculous 6.2% abv limit on beer- and so we could open COAST and not have to move to NC to have a viable brewery. Of course it couldn’t stop there since so more had to be done. I renamed it the SC Brewer’s Association and started working on the ability to have tastings, limited sales, etc….you guys know the story. Now, 9 years later we are on the verge of passing our 4th law and it kept me up most of the night. When you put your heart into something and it is finally realized, it’s utterly overwhelming. David and I have given this brewery and the beer industry in SC everything we’ve got-perhaps too much at times (ask our kids). When we started COAST in ’07 we had to also have full time “real” jobs. Palmetto generously let David continue to work there for almost 3 years while starting his own ! Thank goodness we were young, I’m not so sure we could pull it off now. If it weren’t for the tasting law in 2010 I doubt we could have stayed afloat financially. Now we are staring down the final law that will bust this industry wide open and finally let SC level the playing field a bit. All this just so we can build our small piece of the American dream.
It’s not at all ironic that this law passage would coincide with us finally, after a full year of crazy, bringing the new system online. Of course it would happen that way, all the hardwork realized at the same moment in time. This journey has been more difficult than I can say but I am happy that this phase is ending and a new, hopefully much more manageable and enjoyable one has begun. Cheers to that!
The bill still has to go through the House and Senate one more time but we are all confident it is a done deal.
I’m excited to announce my “retirement” from the SCBA and even more excited to announce the President Elect and Legislative Coordinator John Bauknight. John has been my better half for all things politics for a few years now. He’s better at it than me and is the perfect person for the job. Raise a glass of RJ Rockers to John and the next phase of the SCBA.
The list of thank-yous is quite long but I’ll start with:
Wesley Donehue and Push Digital
Senator Sean Bennett, the Pearlstine’s, Department of Commerce, and the list goes on.
More on this later, as all of this sinks in. Maybe celebrate a little.