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      Lawmakers may change laws to help bring breweries to SC

      Wednesday, a bill was filed in the state Senate to change South Carolina's brewery laws to try and bring jobs to our state.

      Stone Brewing Company, based in California, has said it wants to build a brewery on the East Coast, and that expansion would create about 400 jobs.

      Charleston, Lexington and Horry counties have all expressed interest in Stone's new establishment.

      South Carolina laws would need to be changed for Stone to locate here.

      Currently, a beer manufacturer is licensed as a brewery or a brewpub and not permitted to be licensed as both. A brewery can create an unlimited amount of beer and distribute its product, but not serve food.

      A brewpub can serve food, but its beer production is limited to 2,000 barrels per year and restricted from distribution.

      That means Stone cannot both distribute its beer and create a beer garden and restaurant for tourists.

      Their bill will increase the amount of beer that a brewpub can brew from 2,000 barrels per year to 500,000 barrels per year so as to accommodate large breweries with restaurants. It will also allow for beer sales to wholesalers and exporters of kegs, cans, and bottles by brewpubs.