New craft beer bill awaits governor's signature

New craft beer bill awaits governor's signature

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi's craft beer industry is toasting a new bill that would allow small breweries to sell the beer and light wine they produce on site.

House Bill 1322 would let breweries that produce less than 60-thousand barrels of product to sell two cases in a 24-hour period to individuals.

It passed the House on Tuesday and the Senate last week.

Now, it goes to the governor.

"What we're allowed to do now is sell you a tour of the brewery and we're allowed to give six, six-ounce samples for free with that tour," said Kenny Mann, owner and brewer at Slowboat Brewing Company in Laurel. "It has to be accompanied with a guided tour of the brewery. With the law change going into effect, we will be allowed to sell up to two cases per person, per day and that includes everything but packaged products."

"It will be huge for us," said Mann. "It will be huge for everyone in Mississippi I think, for retailers, for distributors, for consumers and for breweries. For us in particular, it allows us a chance to be competitive with other breweries in the region and other breweries in the state."

Mississippi currently has nine craft beer breweries, but Mann says that number will likely go up dramatically if the governor signs the bill into law.

If he does sign the bill, it will take effect on July 1.