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New law had beer fans waiting for midnight | News

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New law had beer fans waiting for midnight
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KENNESAW, GA (WXIA) – Late Tuesday, lines had formed ahead of Georgia's new brewery law, with fans getting ready for midnight tours.

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Rest assured, fans don't need to show up at midnight to take advantage of what was once called the "Beer Jobs Bill." But, starting Tuesday night at midnight, for the first time in nearly a century, beer fans can walk into a Georgia brewery and take beer home with them.

"It is a big moment," one fan said.

It's a moment that had supporters waiting.

"Got here about 7:00," said beer enthusiast Ryne Grotts.

"4:30," said Larry Scheinman.

Waiting for the privilege to buy a beer at midnight.

"Don't give me that look," Scheinman said, laughing.

The size of the line meant little – except to those who knew its significance.

Scott Hedeen is the owner of Burnt Hickory Brewery in Kennesaw. Thanks to the recently passed Beer Jobs Bill –

"Tonight's the first night since Prohibition that Georgia breweries are allowed to let their customers leave with bottles of beer," he said.

Hedeen can sell his products directly instead of through a distributor – provided those customers take a brief brewery tour.

"It's lmited; it's small," he said. "It's a start – it's great though."

Especially for a state that has watched its neighbors balloon with breweries. The beer bill faced contention in the legislature.

Hedeen and his fellow brewers will tell you this is a victory for small business and for the beer industry -- and for supporters who are happy to wait.

"Some people collect stamps," Grotts said. "And we drink those stamps."

"This is our chance to show them that, yes, we can take the lid off the sippy cups," Scheinman said.

Georgia is known for having far greater restrictions on beer distribution than most states. The original Beer Jobs Bill got cut down dramatically, but supporters of the beer industry say they'll take what they can get.

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