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Businesses that manufacture, distribute, and sell beer and wine are regulated by permits issued from the South Carolina Department of Revenue, and authorized under
Chapter 4 of Title 61 SC Code of Laws.
When referring to SC Code of Laws, beer and wine permits (including
liquor licenses) are issued to three tiers of business types:
This group consists of breweries that provide any combination of brewing, fermenting, or packaging of beer, and wineries and vintners that ferment and/or package wine; including importers who import alcoholic liquors into the US.
Businesses who purchase, acquire, or import beer and/or wine from manufacturers from inside and/or outside of SC for the purpose of resale.
Retailers are divided into two groups which indicates where the beer and wine sold is consumed by the consumer: on-premises or off-premises.
The SCDOR has sole and exclusive power to suspend and revoke a manufacturer's, wholesaler's, or retailer's license. Read the regulations below to avoid a
license suspension or revocation:
Coupons and rebates include, but are not limited to:
Legal and prohibited business practices:
Operating an ABL Business page to see more information on the following topics:
On-Premises Beer & Wine Permit (PBW) locations are prohibited by
SC Code Section 61-4-160 to hold tastings unless it is done:
Off-Premises Beer & Wine Permit (PBG) locations are prohibited by the restriction on the permit prohibiting on premises consumption of beer or wine. Notwithstanding, a location holding an off premises beer and wine permit whose primary product is beer or wine may conduct not more than 24 beer tastings in a calendar quarter.
SC Code Section 61-4-960. To be permissible, the permit holder is required to:
Brewery Permit (“PWY”) holders located in South Carolina are authorized to offer samples of beer brewed in this state on its licensed premises, with or without cost, to consumers.
SC Code Section 61-4-1515. To be permissible, the permit holder must:
Off-Premises Beer & Wine Permit locations, whose primary product is beer, wine, and distilled spirits, may conduct not more than 24 wine tastings per quarter (wholesalers may only conduct two of these).
On-Premises Beer & Wine Permit holders are prohibited from holding wine tastings unless it is done:
Basic Winery Permit (“PWY”) locations that are located in South Carolina are authorized to offer wine tasting samples to prospective customers on its licensed premises, with or without cost, provided the wine contains an alcoholic content of 16.5% or less.
Wine containing 16.5% or less alcohol:
Wine containing over 16% alcohol and alcoholic liquors:
(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, the holder of a valid winery license that, on or after January 1, 2021, invests four hundred million dollars in this State in a Tier III or Tier IV county, as designated by the Department of Revenue pursuant to Section
12-6-3360(B), at the time of the public announcement of the project or upon reaching such investment and job requirement thresholds, and creates at least three hundred new jobs in this State, is eligible for a manufacturer's satellite certificate to establish up to three wholly owned satellite locations for tasting and sale of wine produced or imported as the primary American source of supply. See
SC Code Section 61-4-748.SC Code Sections
✅On-Premises Beer & Wine Permit (PBW) holders may allow customers to BYOB, but must remember that
SC Code Section 61-4-140, which prohibits open containers on Sunday at a licensed premise, still applies.
❌Off-Premises Beer & Wine Permit (PBG) holders are
prohibited from allowing customers to BYOB since on-premise consumption is prohibited.
Title 61 of SC Code of Laws does not prohibit BYOB, local law may say otherwise, and it is up to each permit holder to research the local laws that apply to their business.
See answers to this question for liquor license holders on our
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An out-of-state wine manufacturer may have up to 24 bottles of wine shipped directly to a consumer per month, provided certain conditions are met:
Standard kombucha (commonly known as "fermented tea") is not subject to regulation by the SCDOR.SC Code Section 61-4-10 defines what beverages are regulated as beer and wine as the following:
Standard kombucha is not subject to regulation under Title 61 Chapter 4 since it is a bacterially fermented tea and not a beer, ale, porter, or “similar malt or fermented beverage.” It is a type of tea with a specific process for fermentation that is different from that of beer and does not feature barley, hops, or malt. Kombucha is uniquely fermented with a bacteria and yeast colony that produces acetic acid and a low alcoholic content most similar to the composition of vinegar. It is also not a wine or cider because it is not fermented from fruit or berries.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) currently regulates kombucha tea manufactured for wholesale distribution under the authority of the South Carolina Food and Cosmetic Act. As part of its regulation, SCDA ensures that kombucha is properly labeled according to food safety laws and regulations and that it is manufactured and marketed under safe and sanitary conditions through routine inspections. For all kombucha, SCDA requires an initial alcohol analysis as part of the business registration process.
The SCDOR regulates nonstandard kombucha. The SCDOR determines whether individual brands or products should be regulated by assessing (1) the product’s method/process of production outlined by the manufacturer; (2) the product’s name, TTB classification, and advertised ABV%; (3) the target consumer market for the product; and (4) the nature of the manufacturer’s business, including whether the manufacturer sells other products that require a license or permit from the Department. Standard kombucha is not subject to regulation by the Department.
S.C. Code of Laws Title 61, Chapter 4 – Beer, Ale, Porter, and Wine makes no mention of hard cider but does provide some guidance of what types of beverages are regulated as beer and wine in
SC Code Section 61-4-10 as follows:
With the limited guidance provided in Title 61, Chapter 4, the SCDOR looks to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for guidance. The TTB classifies and regulates hard cider as a wine. Hard cider and other wines are made from fermented fruit; apples or pears for hard cider, grapes or other fruits for other wines. Although similar in alcohol volume to hard cider, beer is distinctly different in that it is made from malt or ingredients other than fruit.
S.C. Code of Laws Title 61, Chapter 4 – Beer, Ale, Porter, and Wine makes no mention of mead but does provide some guidance of what types of beverages are regulated as beer and wine in
SC Code Section 61-4-10 as follows:
Subsection 3 above does not provide a definition of wine or state what ingredients make up wine. However,
SC Code Section 61-4-120(B) states “…wine is produced using grapes…” and
SC Code Section 61-4-730 states
“…juice from fruit and berries…” for describing the wine a winery is permitted to produce and sell.