Mississippi breweries say current laws are boxing them out of additional business; 99.7% of all beer purchased in the state is imported from out of state.
"We just need to make sure in Mississippi that our laws are modernizing at the pace that industries are starting to grow," noted Baker Donelson attorney Matthew McLaughlin. "And that's really the most important thing here."
Legislation will be filed this session in an attempt to allow on-site sales.
If you go to a local brewery in the state, you won't be able to do anything more than have six 6 ounce samples of your favorite brew. But even if you like the beer enough to buy it, you'll have to leave those walls of the brewery.
There's a three tier system in place with breweries, distributors and retailers. Breweries don't want distributors out of the mix. Still, a distributor noted that they're concerned direct brewery sales would affect the integrity of the system.
"We're leaving jobs on the table and we're missing out on tourism opportunities," explained McLaughlin who is serving as counsel for the Mississippi Brewers Guild.
More breweries are being added in the state, including the latest in Starkville. Some say retail sales could be a potential life-line for small operations.
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