Potent celebration

It's official: Stronger beer legal in North Carolina

Aug 16, 2005 - North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley officially super-sized beer within the state when he signed into effect the law that boosts the alcohol limit on beer from 6% to 15%.


"It's done," said Julie Bradford, who helped lead a statewide grass-roots campaign called Pop the Cap, which pushed for the change. "I wasn't going to celebrate until it was definite."

Beer distributors are already lining up shipments of draft and bottled brews into the state.

"We are looking at having product by the end of the week or by the first of next week," said Dave Kemper, on-premise director of Empire Distributing of North Carolina, which will carry beers by Ommegang (from Cooperstown, N.Y.), as well as well as the Belgian brews Duvel and Rodenbach.

Meanwhile, Skyland Distributing of Asheville will offer stronger products from Rogue Ales in Oregon, "which will be shipped at the end of this week, or as soon as the state approves the labels," said Gerry Sigmon.

Until the change, North Carolina had been one of only six states limiting beer to 6% alcohol or less.

About 2 1/2 years ago, a group of passionate beer drinkers organized Pop the Cap, began raising money and hired a lobbyist to push for the change.