Sunday, July 14, 2024

NC distilleries now allowed to sell liquor by bottle on Sundays

Wilmington's second distillery, End of Days, is soon to open on Castle Street. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)
Wilmington’s second distillery, End of Days, is soon to open on Castle Street. (Port City Daily photo/Mark Darrough)

Miss out on making that necessary Saturday pit stop at the ABC store to fulfill Sunday’s Bloody Mary needs? No worries — an omnibus legislation, House Bill 890, signed into law by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, went into effect Friday. It allows distilleries to open Sundays to sell to-go bottles of its spirits from noon to 9 p.m.

The legislation essentially lines up rules for statewide distilleries — now over 80 — with that of breweries and wineries. The bill loosened restrictions on distillery tours, allows tastings and cocktails to be served from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., and permits distilleries to vend products offsite at events and festivals. A spiritous liquor advisory council representing distillers must also be established.

In the Cape Fear region, the law will affect Castle Street’s End of Days Distillery, the newly opened Carolina Beach’s Four Hounds Distilling, and soon-to-be launched Momentum Spirits.

Blue Shark Vodka was New Hanover’s first distillery that opened in 2019, but it only sells its product through the ABC. Local distillery Mason Inlet also only distributes its spirits through the ABC.

Owner Shane Faulkner said End of Days will start opening on Sundays sometime in the near future. “We’ve booked ourselves out on Sundays but since the law’s changed, we are making arrangements,” he wrote to Port City Daily, “planning a big day in November.”

End of Days just released its first batch of bourbon earlier in the week and sold out its limited run of 150 bottles. Its next batch is slated for November release as well.

HB 890 also opened ABC’s online orders to the public. A person can place and pay for their spirits ahead of pick-up from their local stores (only the person who placed the order can retrieve it). The bill does not affect ABC store hours, which will remain closed Sundays.

A few more items the bill addresses:

  • Increasing growlers from two liters to four
  • Allowing the purchase of two alcoholic drinks instead of one at school sporting events
  • Delivering orders to restaurants and bars, much like wine and beer distributors, instead of requiring business management to pick up weekly product at the ABC distribution centers
  • Allowing social districts to be created in towns and cities — designated areas where the public can carry and drink alcohol outdoors

RELATED: Open container ‘social district’ could soon come to downtown Wilmington

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