Bill could give distilleries shot they need to become real economic players in N.C.

Senate Bill 155 would, among many other things, allow restaurants to sell alcohol before noon on Sundays.

That’s good news for restaurants, but only those open for Sunday brunch and only those with a permit to sell alcohol.

Many media outlets reporting about the bill have grabbed onto this provision, although why isn’t exactly clear. The summary of the “brunch bill” or “bloody Mary bill” focuses on this particular aspect, so maybe some reporters have failed to read it all the way through. Or even beyond the first page.

The move would help restaurants and allow people who wish to imbibe to order that Bellini or that screwdriver, or that beer or glass of wine.

It’s should be a commonsense rule anyway, and the bill should go on to allow beer and wine sales in grocery stores before noon on Sunday.

Unfortunately, the other stories have downplayed, for the most part, provisions that could light a fire under one of the state’s most promising homegrown industries: legal local distilleries.

It’s a system of state control, a cacophonous and out-of-tune cadre including the ABC system, lawmakers and distributors that largely stifles entrepreneurship.

Restaurants would benefit should this bill become law, but so would big distillers such as Beam Suntory, Diageo and Campari.

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