This summer, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed into law a sweeping change in the state’s approach to beer, lifting restrictions to help the state attract outside beermakers.

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This follows Gov. Haley’s signing of the South Carolina “Pint Bill” which allows brewers to serve up to 48 ounces (3 pints) of beer to a customer while on-site. Charleston is at the forefront of this economic development move.

The Lowcountry’s craft beer culture may have gotten its official start in 1994, when South Carolina’s “beer-ioneer,” Palmetto Brewery was the first microbrewery to open in Charleston since Prohibition – but major changes have been made since then. Today’s notable Charleston leaders include COAST Brewing and Freehouse Brewing both of which value organic, local ingredients and represent North Charleston’s transformation from an old military town to a modern industry and cultural hub.

In Cincinnati, similar developments are happening. Just last year, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a brewery bill that benefits craft brewers and allows them to invest more money into their breweries. The legislation created a new liquor permit for breweries that make less than 31 million gallons a year and reduces their annual licensing fee from $3,906 to $1,000. The legislation also allows liquor permits to be transferred easier as part of economic development projects and permits brewers to open a tasting room within a half-mile of their production facilities.

Virginia recently granted farm-based breweries the same privileges as their winery counterparts and in 2012, the state declared August “Craft Beer Month.” Through changing legislation across the country, small breweries are entering the market and putting dollars into the economy.

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