Julie Bradford passed along this article to me. The writer does a great job of capturing the risks and uncertainty surrounding the August (not April) 2005 lifting of the cap, as well as the current state of the market. Big props to author Tanner Kroeger and to John Shuck of the Carolina Brewing Company.
Local beer brewers embrace new legal limit
As of April (sic) 2005, NC can sell beer containing up to 15 percent alcohol — a change that has created new opportunities for breweries
Issue date: 4/17/07 Section: News
John Shuck knows beer. He’s a connoisseur, one might say. Sure, he started as an electrical engineer, working five years at a firm in Los Angeles, Calif., but after that, his life has been all about beer.
He worked in a microbrewery in Seattle, Wa. He also took classes in beer making in Chicago, Ill. And in July 1995, the then 29-year-old packed up his things and moved to Holly Springs, N.C., where he and his younger brother Greg teamed with their college-buddy, Joe Zonin, founded Carolina Brewing Company.
Twelve years and nearly 100,000 kegs of beer later, John, Greg and Joe operate one of North Carolina’s most successful microbreweries.
But it’s been an interesting three years for beer makers in the state. Amid trying to overturn a 70-year-old prohibition holdover law that limited alcohol by volume, some of the microbreweries faced a boycott of their distributor and saw profits take a substantial hit as a result.
And now that the law is changed and the boycott ended, North Carolina’s beer-making industry is starting to develop itself, catching up to the best in the nation.