As a political reporter/beer columnist at the newspaper, I get a lot of questions about the two beer bills the state legislature sent to Gov. Pat McCrory this week.
Most folks want to know how quickly their favorite bottle shop or Whole Foods will serve growlers, as allowed under House Bill 829. Or other folks want to know when the Durham Bulls will serve Carolina Brewery and Foothills in the stands at baseball games. The short answer: not right away.
The legislation is effective upon the governor's signature. McCrory is likely to sign the bills, given the overwhelming support in the legislature. He has 10 days to act or they become law. But both bills ask the N.C. Alcohol Beverage Control Commission to put in place rules before they take effect. In the case of growlers, the commission must adopt rules about sanitation of growlers being filled by Jan. 1. For in-stand beer sales at professional sporting events, the commission must approve rules about the "suspension of alcohol sales in the latter portion of professional sporting events in order to protect public safety at these events."
It's unclear how long it will take the ABC Commission to make the rules. It can create temporary ones in cases like this, which don't take as long to formulate. But the formal rule making process can take six to eight months, said Agnes Stevens, a spokeswoman.