#ncga: Did Moore County’s Jamie Boles help kill Craft Beer freedom bill?

It sure looks like it.  And if so, that would be very interesting to Moore County’s burgeoning craft beer industry.  Here’s The John Locke Foundation: 

The clock ran out before House members had a chance to decide whether to loosen some rules on craft breweries that want to distribute their own beer. An 11th-hour attempt by wholesale distributors to block higher limits on self-distribution succeeded, even though the committee did not vote on the full measure.

For now, the revised version of House Bill 500 remains alive.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee was considering a revised version of H.B. 500, in the form of a Proposed Committee Substitute, The original bill would have raised the cap on self-distribution from its current 25,000-barrel limit to 200,000 barrels. It also would have removed a separate provision making it easier for breweries that use a distributor to terminate their contract and do business with another wholesaler. (A barrel is 31 gallons.)

The PCS stripped both of those measures, leaving the cap at 25,000 barrels. Once a brewery raises production to that level, it must contract with a wholesale distributor to market all of its beer, not only the amount exceeding 25,000 barrels. Craft brewers approaching that threshold want the option to continue selling their own products.[…] 

Once again:  WHY would the alleged conservative party be protecting and defending onerous regulations meant to prop up and protect an industry (beer wholesalers) against any and all competition?  MORE: 

[…] Then the committee took a seven-minute recess, with Chairman Jamie Boles, R-Moore, saying he wanted the primary sponsor of H.B. 500 and the PCS, Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, to present and discuss the amended bill. McGrady was presenting a bill to another committee. Boles had asked for a motion to substitute the PCS for the original bill, and the committee passed it.

“This PCS is a shadow of its former self,” McGrady acknowledged on his arrival. But after removing the provisions that caused distributors the most consternation, he said the bill offered an incremental improvement worth supporting.

Margo Metzer, the head of the state’s Craft Brewers Guild, said her members were very disappointed in the revised bill but that her group still supported it.

Rep. Larry Potts, R-Davidson, asked a series of questions about whether the PCS would allow retail sales in dry counties of beer made at “farm breweries” — licensed breweries that grow and produce the ingredients of their beer on the property. It does. Wineries in dry counties can sell their vintages at their tasting rooms as well, and this would make the law consistent for farm breweries.

Then Boles suddenly announced the full House was opening its session and the committee had to adjourn before any further debate or votes.

Boles promised the committee would see the bill again.

If the ABC committee passes the PCS, it would go to the Rules Committee.

In the House, a bill going off to the Rules Committee is like an inmate being sent off to that room in Central prison with all the needles and the table with the straps.  It’s not indicative of a happy ending.