The following is an open letter to the Speaker of The House, David Ralston. We encourage you to write him, your Representative, and the members of the Rules Committee to help get SB 63 to the Governor’s desk.
You can find more information on how you can be personally involved at the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild
My name is Justin Hall and I am the owner of Southern Beer Tours here in the Atlanta area.
I write to you today to encourage your support of SB63, the Beer Jobs Bill.
My company provides people a way to visit several breweries in a safe environment in one day. Our company has experienced great growth in the last year we have been open. We currently hire 1 full time employee and 4 part time employees. We were recently featured on CNN about beer tourism. You can view that video at: http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/28/living/national-drink-beer-day-eatocracy/index.html?hpt=hp_c3 and you can watch the video titled “Atlanta, a beer tourist’s paradise”.
This beer bill is important to the growth of my company and the industry as a whole. When I compare our company to others in established craft beer markets, we have a ways to go. Cities like Tampa and Asheville were able to have 10x the guests a year each with similar companies. Atlanta is uniquely positioned to be the largest craft beer tourism city in the South. We have more visitors than any other city, and we are the largest city in the South.
Allowing breweries to sell on site will create more opportunity for new startups. And will help established players grow and hire more employees. I know you have a couple of breweries and a brewpub in your own district. They would be able to benefit from a bill like this as well.
Every week, out of town guests ask me why they can’t buy the beer they sample and bring it back with them. They often can’t find the beers from the breweries we visit because they are not widely distributed yet.
We ask that you support Senator Hill’s original version of this bill and help give our industry a chance at becoming something truly huge.