Jackson, Mississippi – On June 22, 2016, the Mississippi Brewers Guild and the Mississippi Beer Distributors Association held a joint meeting to discuss the state of the craft beer industry in Mississippi and agree on an on-premises sales bill for the 2017 Mississippi Legislative Session.
The final version of the bill will not be ready until later this fall, but the Mississippi Brewers Guild and the Mississippi Beer Distributors Association have reached an agreement in principle.
If passed, the bill would:
• Allow in-state breweries that manufacture no more than 60,000 barrels of beer per year to sell their beer for on premises consumption through tap rooms and to sell up to 576 ounces per day per consumer for off premises consumption;
• Provide for an annual cap for tap room sales and off premises consumption sales of 10% of the annual production for the brewery or 1,500 barrels, whichever is less;
• Require breweries to pay state excise tax and sales tax on beer sold through the tap room and for off premises consumption;
• Increase the production cap for brewpubs to 75,000 gallons per year, roughly 2,500 barrels;
• Remove the food requirements from the existing brewpub qualification requirements; and;
• Provides the necessary safeguards for all tiers of the beer industry
Matthew McLaughlin, outside counsel to the Mississippi Brewers Guild, said: “This bill is significant for many reasons. It will make Mississippi breweries more competitive in the rapidly changing and global beer industry, which will translate into capital investment and job creation for our Mississippi communities. But more importantly, this bill will strengthen the relationship between Mississippi breweries and their distribution partners.”
Ricky Brown, president of the Mississippi Beer Distributors Association, said: “This issue has been vetted over the last several months by the Association’s members who want to help the Mississippi craft brewers succeed and thrive while not causing any irreparable harm to the beer industry’s three tier system. This is very favorable legislation for the state’s craft brewers in hopes for their continued success.”