Thursday, March 26, 2015

Distilleries Hope To Sell Direct

North Carolina is one of only nine states in the US that does not permit the direct sale of spirituous liquor at the distillery to visitors. For Durham, that’s going to be a larger concern as two distilleries work to come online and open their doors this year.

There is a move afoot at the legislative level to permit these sales at distilleries, though. HB107 and SB24 are both up for a vote in this legislative session, and those in the spirituous beverage creation business are working to rally support.

“As we get ready to welcome Durham Distillery and Revival Spirits here in Durham, we think it is important that they be able to sell their products directly to consumers,” said Shelly Green, the President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) which markets Durham as a visitor destination. “With passage of the original bill in 2013, distilleries were allowed to conduct tastings on their premises, but the current bill takes it a step further and allows them to sell their products for consumption off premises,” Green added.

Spirituous liquor producers are working together on an effort to get the word out about a letter writing campaign. “From the visitor’s stand point, it will be a much better experience to visit a distillery, taste the product, and then make a purchase all in one visit,” Green said. “Currently, distilleries must tell their patrons to go to an ABC store if they wish to purchase products and that’s what this bill hopes to change,” she said.

The bills have bi-partisan support in the House and Senate, as well as support from restaurant and lodging groups. Those with opinions on this matter are encouraged to discuss on social media.

Learn more about Durham’s food scene online, and plan a visit with the Durham Event Calendar.

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