Bill Would Allow High-Alcohol Beer Brewing in 3 TN Locations

A bill originally drafted to help eliminate certain archaic alcohol laws is now facing some scrutiny after state senators approved an amendment early last week that would license only three high-alcohol beer breweries statewide, reports the Nashville Business Journal.
The amendment to SB1224, sponsored by Republican Ken Yager of Harriman, would restrict on a pilot project basis the production of high-alcohol content beer – defined as 5 percent to 20 percent alcohol by weight – in Middle, Eastern and Western Tennessee to a single manufacturer per region.
The bill, which was recommended favorably by the Senate State and Local Government Committee, will be taken up by the Senate Finance Ways and Means committee tomorrow.
The amendment also defines a precise location for a brewer in East Tennessee, language which some believe is aimed at making room for a new, predetermined beer manufacturer there. At the same time, by allowing one other manufacturer in each of the Middle and Western Tennessee regions, some say the amendment essentially provides concessions for Nashville-based Yazoo Brewing Company as well City Brewing Co., which just purchased a large bottling plant in Memphis.

Note: The East Tennessee brewery, it appears, would be in Blount County.

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