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Craft beer bill goes to Haley

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Craft beer bill goes to Haley

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Craft beer bill goes to Haley

The measure, if signed, could put South Carolina in a strong position to attract Stone Brewing Co. as the brewery plans its eastward expansion.

Thomas Creek employees work the bottling line on Monday, April 21, 2014.(Photo: MYKAL McELDOWNEY/Staff)

Changes in South Carolina’s beer laws that will loosen restrictions on craft brewers passed through the state Legislature on Wednesday, a crucial step in economic developers’ efforts to attract a West Coast brewery’s multimillion-dollar investment.

The "Stone Bill" — a nod to the San Diego-area’s Stone Brewing Co., the 10th largest brewer in the nation — passed the House of Representatives unanimously and through the Senate with one dissenting vote.

It now goes to Gov. Nikki Haley for her signature.

The bill, following a compromise between brewers and wholesalers, places South Carolina as a serious contender to land Stone’s $31 million eastward expansion, said state Rep. Derham Cole of Spartanburg, a sponsor of the bill."Kind of reading the tea leaves, it seems we’re in a very good position," Cole told GreenvilleOnline.com.Sen. Tom Corbin of Travelers Rest cast the lone vote against the bill, citing his opposition to legislation that encourages use of alcohol."If you look at my record, I don’t vote for anything that increases […]

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