AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE SALE OF LOW ALCOHOL BEVERAGE COOLERS, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS READY-TO-DRINK COCKTAILS, AT CERTAIN ESTABLISHMENTS IN NORTH CAROLINA.
Amends GS 18B-101 to define fortified wine to include a low alcohol beverage cooler. Adds and defines low alcohol beverage cooler as a drink containing at least 0.5% and no more than 9.5% alcohol by volume and consisting of spirituous liquor mixed with any or all of the following: nonalcoholic beverages, flavoring, or coloring. Permits low alcohol beverage coolers to contain water, fruit juices, sugar, carbon dioxide, preservatives, and other similar products manufactured by fermenting fruit or fruit juices. Excludes low alcohol beverage coolers from the defined terms mixed beverage or spirituous liquor.
Amends GS 18B-803 to establish distinct provisions for the purchase of low alcohol beverage coolers. Allows for the sale of low alcohol beverage coolers in packages of four to 12 single-serve containers with each container no more than 16 ounces in size only. Otherwise, requires the sale of low alcohol beverage coolers to be treated as fortified wine for the purposes of the statute, which allows for the purchase of 50 liters of unfortified wine at one time.
Amends GS 18B-306, which authorizes individuals to make wines and malt beverages for private use, to exclude low alcohol beverage coolers from the authority.
Amends GS 18B-1105 to allow distillery permittees to (1) manufacture, purchase, import, possess and transport ingredients and equipment used in the manufacturing of low alcohol beverage coolers, and (2) sell, deliver and ship low alcohol beverage coolers in closed containers at wholesale to exporters and local boards, or public agencies or establishments of other states or nations, subject to the laws of other jurisdictions.
Directs the ABC Commission to adopt rules or amend its rules consistent with the act, as specified.
Effective October 1, 2021.
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