NoDa Brewing Company and Olde Mecklenburg Brewery sue state of NC over 'oppressive' law

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Two Charlotte breweries are suing the state of North Carolina over laws their attorney says could cause the loss of jobs and even hurt tourism at local breweries.

“It’s a very oppressive, unfair system,” said Bob Orr, a lawyer for the craft brewers.

“These laws are essentially a product of the prohibition era,” Orr said.

On Monday, the Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and NODA Brewing Company, along with Craft Freedom, LLC, filed a lawsuit. They’re suing the state of North Carolina over laws that require brewers to turn over their distribution rights, to a third party wholesaler, if they produce more than 25,000 barrels of beer in a year.

“If you have a system that suppresses growth and expansion, then you’re damaging the North Carolina economy,” Orr said.

The laws, as they’re written now, with the 25,000 barrel cap and its impact on distribution rights could impact tourism, result in job losses, and limit the expansion of craft breweries, according to Orr.

“Those employees of the craft brewery that have been involved in distribution obviously would have no job and would result in the necessity of laying them off,” Orr explained.

Fox 46 Charlotte reached out to the state attorney general’s office for comment. A spokesperson says they’re reviewing the case, which was just filed Monday morning.

 

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