Chapel Hill Town Council will discuss the legislation that has been coined the “brunch-bill” in a special session next Monday, but according to the President of the Distillery association of North Carolina and Chairman of the Licensed Beverage Committee for the North Carolina restaurant Association Scott Maitland, this bill’s impact will far surpass earlier alcohol sales on Sunday.
“It is also a real signal that we are starting to move towards a much more modern approach,” says Maitland, “and we are looking to update a system that has quite frankly remained relatively unchanged for 80 years.”
Maitland also owns Top of the Hill and TOPO Distillery. He spoke on another facet of the bill, which would increase the amount of liquor a distillery can legally sell a person from one bottle per year to five.
“I think the switch from one bottle to five bottles is actually more profound. It’s not simply ‘hey distilleries can sell more bottles’” says Maitland. “What this is going to impact is the actual offerings that North Carolina distilleries can actually offer.”
Maitland believes that the ability to sell more bottles directly from distilleries could help local distilleries stand out from their national competition at ABC stores.
“The ability for North Carolina distilleries to be imaginative was incredibly restricted due to the lack of shelf space at ABC stores,” claims Maitland.
The bill lessens the complete control of alcohol sales by the ABC stores, which Maitland compared to a monopoly.
“I am not an advocate for abolishing or ending our ABC system,” says Maitland, “but I am an advocate for recognizing that we need to modernize our ABC system and provide the service that is the expectation of consumers in North Carolina.”