Governor Roy Cooper signed the state's so-called "Brunch Bill" into law.
Brunch-goers across the country think little—if nothing—of ordering a mimosa or Bloody Mary before noon. But that's something residents of North Carolina probably don't take for granted, because they simply couldn't order one early—until today, that is.
This morning, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed into law Senate Bill 155, more commonly known as the state's "Brunch Bill," legislation that will allow restaurants, bars, stores, and breweries—anyone with a license to sell alcohol—to start selling at 10 a.m. Sundays. Previously, you couldn't order anything that would get you tipsy before noon on the most popular brunch day of the week.
Now, before people get too excited, there is a caveat to the new law: while alcohol sales are now allowed beginning at 10 a.m. Sundays, it will be up to each county or city government to decide whether they'll allow it within their own borders. (So, if yours doesn't, you might be making a long drive to take advantage of the law.) However, a few areas have wasted no time in adopting the law, with Raleigh and Carrboro already approving it in their cities.
"This is a pure local option," bill sponsor Sen. Rick Gunn, R-Alamance, has said, according to WRAL. "We will join 47 other states in allowing some form of alcohol sales before noon."
Of course, not everyone is excited about the bill, especially the teetotaling community. "This is a sad time for North Carolina," Rev. Mark Creech, of the Christian Action League, told WSOC. "The measure ... will unquestionably do more to proliferate and expand the sale of alcoholic beverages at the expense of the public's health and safety."
Some of the most drastic and exciting changes coming, however, will take place outside of restaurants and stores selling booze, and instead, will happen in the state's 45 distilleries. The new bill allows distilleries to sell up to five bottles per customer—those customers who tour their facilities, that is—per year, plus gives the green light to liquor tastings at off-site events, with a permit. Auctioneers can now also auction off high-end wine and liquor with a permit, too.
What's more, brewers can offer guests and employees samples of their beers, and taste the brews themselves for sensory analysis, quality control, and educational purposes. Plus, home brewers can now show off their creations at exhibits and competitions.
Earlier booze and more chances to try it? To that we say, "cheers!"