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Senate committee meets in Cumming
Talks brew pubs, alcoholic beverage tastings
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Forsyth County News

State legislators chose Cumming City Hall as the venue for a meeting Thursday of the Senate Brewpubs & Alcoholic Beverages Tastings Study Committee.

Republican District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy, who chairs the committee, thought his home district would be ideal for the meeting, particularly since both the city and Forsyth County have updated their laws on alcohol to allow for growlers and alcohol tastings.

The senate panel heard from a representative of the Distilled Spirits Council, a brewery owner and others who talked about what they thought an update to the state laws regarding alcohol sales should look like.

Jay Hibbard, council spokesman, wanted to make sure any changes to reduce state regulations on the industry, also applied to spirits.

There is the same amount of alcohol in a 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine and 1.5-ounce serving of a spirit, he said, asking to make it “an equal market place.”

A brewery owner asked senators to help them grow by allowing them to sell a case per day per person of beer.

That idea didn’t appear to go over well with the panel, however Murphy said he was sympathetic to those wanting to grow business.

“We have to be real careful about deregulation,” said Murphy, referencing the problems that spawned during the prohibition era. “We want to be very mindful and careful that doesn’t happen again.”