South Carolina Bill Would Allow Sampling Parties - DatelineCarolina

South Carolina Bill Would Allow Beer Sampling at Stores

The beer selection at Green's Discount Beverages could soon be sampled in the store by customers. The beer selection at Green's Discount Beverages could soon be sampled in the store by customers.

By Kelsey McCurry

Posted 11:20 AM  Mar. 1, 2010

A bill working it's way through the South Carolina legislature could help people who sell beer acquaint customers with their products.   South Carolina State Representative Bill Herbkersman has sponsored a bill that would allow brewers and stores the chance to offer free tastes.

The South Carolina Brewer's Association has been lobbying for nearly two years for the bill, that they see as a huge step for the brewing industry.  The state already allows tastings for liquor and wine. 

"With $18 billion of state revenue coming from tourism, it's actually another avenue for people coming down from the north and Midwest, and frankly out west who have these provisions in their laws to come and taste our beers, maybe give then another reason to be here, maybe even spend a little bit more money," says Herbkersman.

But how much beer is enough for a taste? Some representatives have suggested up to 16 ounces, but retailers, like the owners of Green's Discount Beverages, say providing four 1-ounce samples are plenty.

Green's is one retailer that has been waiting for a bill like this.

"We've always been excited about beer tastings, but it's never been approved," says Green's Beverages vice president Suzie Riga.

The bill says the stores must pay for the beer tasting but retailers hope the cost will eventually be shifted to the manufacturers.

The bill will be debated this week in the South Carolina House.

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