In an article on the online addition of the Athens Banner-Herald, reporter Nick Coltrain breaks the news that Terrapin Beer Company has been, “cited four times recently by the Georgia Department of Revenue for allegedly violating regulations pertaining to brewery tours.”
To clarify for those who are unfamiliar with the regulations cited. In Georgia, breweries are not allowed to sell beer in their tap rooms. Instead, they may conduct “brewery tours” that must last at least two hours. Beer may be served as samples. But, these samples may not exceed 32 oz. Patrons must also be made aware that they do not have to purchase a glass to participate in the tour.
In short, the breweries are allowed to open their taprooms for two hours a day, give a tour of the brewery and serve samples during the “tour.” What most breweries do is to open their tap room for two hours a day, ask patrons to purchase a souvenir glass that includes drink tickets and enjoy their beer.
John Cochran, president and co-owner of Terrapin, has been active in the state legislature trying to repeal these archaic and patently ridiculous laws. Could that have anything to do with the targeting he seems to have received by the Georgia Department of Revenue? That is mere speculation, but it does seem rather fishy that breweries across the state conduct their tours in the exact same manner without visits from the revenuers.
Read the entire Banner-Herald article here: http://onlineathens.com/local-news/2013-11-03/ga-dept-revenue-charges-terrapin-tour-violations
- Beer Sample Bill goes into effect, breweries preparing to open doors for tours (kfor.com)
- Athens brewery cited by Ga. Dept. of Revenue over tours (bizjournals.com)
- Florida – Georgia weekend gets its own beer (sprbrewcrew.wordpress.com)