North Carolina has always had a complicated relationship with alcohol. However, alcohol has consistently been an economic driver in North Carolina, as it still is, with 130 craft breweries as of 2014 – the most of any Southern state. As the craft brewing industry in the region grows into a multimillion-dollar business, the desire to review the statutes and improve communication with state officials has come to the forefront.
North Carolina’s alcohol laws are slowly changing to allow greater freedom for the state’s growing number of brewers, distillers and bar owners. However, despite the progress, local industry advocates say many key concerns remain untouched by recent reforms.