Georgia House OKs stronger beer

New law would legalize beer stronger than 6%

Feb 15, 2000 - "Georgians for World Class Beer" can't pop open a barley wine or Belgian dubbel to celebrate yet, but their efforts to make a wider range of beer styles available in the state took another step forward Tuesday.


The House voted 126-42 to alter Georgia's definition of "malt beverages" and allow stronger beers to be sold. Currently, state law prohibits selling beer that contains more than 6% alcohol by volume (Budweiser is 5%). The measure passed by the House would boost the limit to 14% and charge twice the state tax on the stronger beers. The Senate must still act on the legislation.

Representative Robin Williams, the bill's sponsor, said the measure would boost Georgia's esteem among the millions of international travelers who visit the state each year.

Williams, a Republican from Augusta, said, "When they stop over, they are not allowed to buy the very beers that they can buy at home." Williams argued that updating Georgia's law -- which dates back to 1935 -- would help "move us into the next century."

As well as permitting the many sale of popular Belgian ales and German bocks, for instance, the legislation would expand the number of American specialty beers that are legal.

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