I am a co-sponsor of a bill the House approved, 68-46, on Wednesday and sent to the Senate to raise the maximum alcohol content of beer that could be sold in North Carolina. Currently, North Carolina is one of only six states in the nation, which has such a low alcohol content requirement. Microbreweries and beer aficionados across the state have lobbied for the proposal, which would allow beers above the current 6 percent alcohol limit to be brewed or sold commercially in the state and could create thousands of new jobs in the specialized industry. Beer labels would have to clearly show alcohol content if it is over 6 percent.
Proponents say it would expand the number of specialty brews that could be sold here, while opponents said it would offer a stronger, more problematic option for some drinkers. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) remained neutral on the bill, which garnered bi-partisan support in the House.