South Carolina regulates alcoholic beverage commerce through a three-tiered distribution and licensing structure that strictly separates manufacturing, wholesaling, and retailing interests into distinct tiers of operation. Under this three-tier system, licenses issued under Title 61 are generally divided into the following categories:
- Retail Licenses that authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages to the public
- Wholesale Licenses that authorize the purchase of alcoholic beverages from producers for resale to retailers
- Manufacturing and Importing Licenses that authorize the production or importation of alcoholic beverages into the state
The manufacturing, distribution, and sale of beer and wine are regulated by the brewery, winery, wholesale, and retail beer and wine permits authorized under Chapter 4 of Title 61. The manufacturing, distribution, and sale of alcoholic liquors are governed by the liquor manufacturers', wholesalers', and retail dealers' licenses and the liquor-by-the-drink licenses authorized under the ABC Act in Chapter 6 of Title 61.
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