It’s hard to know where to start. On September 25, the Georgia Department of Revenue issued a bulletin radically altering SB63, the bill that allowed Georgia brewers to offer variable priced tours and take-home beer “souvenirs”.
It appears that special interests worked largely in secret to subvert the intent of this new law. The Department of Revenue issued the bulletin with no warning (in fact, just as most of us were in Denver for the Great American Beer Festival) or opportunity for public comment and has refused to meet with the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild to discuss it. Wild Heaven specifically reached out with a meeting request with Director Howard Tyler and other leaders at the DoR and have received no response. On June 22, we received written approval that our tour plans offering variable priced tour options were in compliance with the new law. We spent $18,000 on equipment and improvements to our Tasting Room based on that assurance. Now the rug has been pulled out from under us.
As a fan of craft beer, we know this makes you angry, as it does us. You’re probably asking “What can I do?”. Here’s some options:
- Attend this weekend’s Georgia Craft Beer Festival at Red Brick. Get a $5 discount with promo code “wildheaven”. This is our Guild’s biggest fundraiser and helps pay our lobbyists. The recent bulletin underscores how effective lobbyists are in our state, especially when one side goes quiet for a period of time.
- Call (404.656.1776) and email the office of Governor Nathan Deal, who allowed this to happen.
- Call (404.656.5030) and email the office of Lietuenant Governor Casey Cagle – and let him know what you think.
- Tell your state Senator and Representative this is not okay. We have a political process for a reason and when the law can be re-interpreted at the whims of special interests that is a fundamental problem.
- Visit a local brewery often! (We’re open this weekend Thursday from 5:30-8:30, Saturday 2-6pm, Sunday 2-5pm and closed on Friday).
- Forward this email to all your friends. Post the picture above on your Facebook and Instagram.
Please use hashtag #FreeGABeer and stay tuned for more information. We are very sorry to have to change our offerings to you – and we are incredibly grateful for the support you’ve shown Wild Heaven and beer in Georgia.
Nick for the Wild Heaven Team