On January 21, 2015 the Bastiat Society’s Charlotte chapter presented “Fermentation Bureaucracy” with speaker Russell W. Fergusson, an alcohol regulation attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event took place at the new Sugar Creek Brewing Company, a local brewery dedicated to Belgian style beers.
In his speech, Mr. Fergusson explained the infamous three tier system of alcohol regulation, legal hurdles facing craft brewers, and local governmental requirements (including zoning issues and enforcement). Mr. Fergusson also discussed the special rules governing beer distribution agreements and the history of challenges to alcohol by volume restrictions (including the successful campaign to repeal North Carolina’s 6-percent alcohol by volume cap on beer).
The Bastiat Society of Charlotte continues to host interesting events - often finding economic lessons in local and regional economic problems.
For more information on the beer laws and the "three-tiered distribution system," follow these links:
Research & Commentary from the Heartland Institute
Mandated “Three-Tier” Distribution of Alcohol
Serious Eats Article
Beer Issues: What's Up With the Three-Tier System?