Tennessee Legislature Follows Ben Franklin's Advice and Shares Some Love with Beer Nerds

Tennessee Legislature Follows Ben Franklin's Advice and Shares Some Love with Beer Nerds

Tennessee is not known for progressive liquor laws. But this legislative session was unusually beer friendly and produced some important new laws for beer nerds.

Founding father Ben Franklin understood our love for beer:

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Beer nerds are rejoicing over a new Tennessee law that lowers the tax on better beer. Currently, Tennessee taxes beer based on price, meaning that more expensive beer has a higher tax. Under the new tax regime, beer is taxed by volume, meaning that beer is taxed at the same rate, regardless of price.

The new law gained considerable attention because Tennessee beer taxes are generally ranked as highest in the nation. The old tax scheme was particularly offensive to beer connoisseurs, since PBR was taxed at a much lower rate than Magic Hat.

Over time, the change in taxation will lower the cost of better beer for Tennessee beer fans.

Another new law fixed a brewpub problem. Most brewpubs recently had to stop selling growlers because the ABC started enforcing a law that prohibits LBD licensees from selling beer to go. The new law fixes this problem.

Last but not least, a new distillery law may pave the way for breweries to offer high alc beer in taprooms and sell high alc beer to go in bottles, cans and kegs. Tennessee's peculiar liquor laws classify stronger beer as alcoholic beverages, subject to completely different laws than regular beer. The distinction between high alc and regular beer in Tennessee is relatively unique and presents an array of impediments to beer nerds.

It's time for a toast:

To the holidays—all 365 of them.

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