Beer-quaffing tourists can sample and buy craft brews at South Carolina microbreweries under a new law promoted Tuesday by Gov. Mark Sanford as he took a swig himself.
The Republican governor applauded lawmakers for lifting the state ban on onsite beer tastings and sales, sampling an ale made with peaches at a Spartanburg microbrewery. State law already allowed tastings at wineries and liquor distillers.
"Government has a duty to allow businesses as much freedom as possible," Sanford said. "We see no reason why South Carolina breweries shouldn't be allowed to sell the products they make to consumers, and indeed we'd like to see more of this kind of deregulation in the future."
He ceremoniously signed the bill at R.J. Rockers Brewery, five weeks after officially signing it into law. The governor drank a sample of Son of a Peach, a wheat ale made with local peaches.
The measure allows samplings and onsite sales only if customers take a tour. Each tourist can buy up to a case of beer per day. The law also allows specialty beer-and-wine retail stores to offer up to 24 samplings per quarter.