RALEIGH — Add tiny Misenheimer to the list of the 124 North Carolina municipalities and 19 counties to allow restaurants and stores to serve alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Misenheimer is the second municipality in Stanly County to approve the sales, which were made legal as part of Senate Bill 155, also called the brunch bill. The other is Albemarle, although the county hasn’t yet approved the move.
What’s interesting is that the village of about 800 people has no restaurants or businesses that would use the rules. But, as reported by The Stanly News & Press, “council members wanted to be proactive on the matter.”
Misenheimer voted to allow alcohol sales in 2016. The village is home to Pfeiffer University, a private liberal arts university affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Gov. Roy Cooper signed S.B. 155 into law June 30. The bill also allows craft distillers to sell five bottles to customers each year and allows the distillers to offer tastings at festivals and other events. The tastings are contingent on local approval, as are the Sunday brunch sales. North Carolina first allowed distillers to sell alcohol in October 2015, but purchases were limited to one bottle per customer per year.
The 19 counties approving the bill include Wake, Durham, and Orange in the Triangle.
Andrew Norman is the master distiller for Greensboro Distilling Co. and Fainting Goat Spirits in Greensboro, which makes Tiny Cat Vodka and Emulsion Gin. Greensboro and Guilford County have both approved the “brunch” portion of the bill.
Customers’ response to the measure, he said, has far outweighed expectations.
“The brunch bill has been tremendous for us,” he said. “We saw an immediate impact. I would say our bottle sales per person have tripled since the brunch bill has passed. Before the bill passed, our customers would try all of our products, and then have to choose which bottle they wanted to purchase. Now they can take home at least one of each product we make, especially folks that live in parts of the state that we are not readily available or out-of-state customers.
“I even had a couple from Florida stop in for a tour and tasting the other day, and they bought their 10 bottles for Christmas gifts for their friends and family in Florida. And with our single malt whiskey coming out this December, our customers don’t have to do the math, or get turned away because they bought a bottle of our gin 50 weeks ago.”
John Trump is a staff writer for Carolina Journal.