Craft beer lovers toast to anniversary of big win

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Thursday marked the 10th anniversary of when North Carolina lawmakers lifted the longstanding ban on beers with an alcohol content above 6 percent.

This decision was big for craft beer brewers and sellers, because it opened them up to more business. Those in the craft beer industry fought to change the law a decade ago.

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Lector Bennet, the co-owner of Cape Fear Wine and Beer, went to the capital to change the law. His business celebrated the anniversary Thursday.

“One of the best things about microbrews and craft beers in general: you can try new things at a higher alcohol content,” one beer enthusiast said. “It’s not so much the standpoint the alcohol itself. It’s the flavor. There’s so much more you can do with it.”

And all the effort has paid off.

According to a “Craft Beer Serves America” study released in July, North Carolina’s economy gets almost $3.8 billion from the beer industry a year, and $2 billion in federal state and local tax revenue.