South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild

South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild

Since 2017, the South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild (SCCDG) has been working hard to overturn age-old laws leftover from the prohibition and give distilleries more freedom to manufacture and sell their products, while increasing their exposure.

If you want to learn more about the guild’s efforts, stick with us to learn what they do, how to become a member, and what South Carolina’s distillery industry looks like today.

What Is The South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild?

The South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild is a nonprofit organization that helps meet the promotional, legislative, and regulatory requirements of craft distilleries in South Carolina.

The Guild was founded in 2017 and helps to improve the business conditions in the South Carolina craft distillery industry.

The Guild is an entirely voluntary organization, and to become a member, you must manufacture, produce, or bottle distilled spirits in the state.

What Does The South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild Do?

The craft distilling industry in the U.S. has seen significant growth over the last decade, and state guilds such as the SCCDG have played pivotal roles in the industry’s success.

After the prohibition was repealed in South Carolina, several leftover laws lingered, which made it challenging for distillers to set up successful businesses.

Like other states, South Carolina had to create its own state laws to help reintroduce the production and manufacturing of legal alcohol.

After changes to the law in 2014 and 2019 allowed local brewers to increase opening hours, tasting, and sell products to-go, the SCCDG was established to try and introduce the same laws for local distilleries.

The guild worked with local republican Senator Sean Bennett to try and introduce the changes. Distillers attached their bill to the amendment on the Gallo bill to get it passed through, and it was eventually passed with bipartisan support.

Thanks to the efforts of the guild, distilleries can now:

  • Increase tasting limits
  • Serve food and other alcohol on their premises
  • Expand hours of service

Who Are the Members Of The South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild?

Here is a comprehensive list of the current members of the South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild:

  • Twelve 33 Distillery
  • Six and Twenty Distillery
  • Salute!
  • Beyond Distilling Company
  • Burnt Church Distillery
  • Charleston Distilling Co.
  • Firefly Distillery
  • Gorget Distilling Co.
  • High Wire Distilling
  • Palmetto Distillery
  • Sugar Tit Moonshine Distillery
  • Daufuskie Island Distillery
  • Black River Distillery
  • Chattooga Belle Farm
  • Hilton Head Distillery
  • Pusser’s Rum
  • Rotten Little Bastard Distillery
  • Striped Pig Distillery
  • Swamp Fox Distilling

How Can You Join The South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild?

Joining the guild is simple. To request a membership, head to the SCCDG website and fill out the membership form. There are several membership levels to choose from, including:

Quarterly Leading Distillery Member

This membership will cost $3,000 per year but will be paid in quarterly installments of $750. This membership level can accommodate up to five members. With this membership, you’ll receive:

  • Access to exclusive and members-only events
  • Active participation in all SCCDG meetings
  • Voting rights
  • Regular newsletters
  • Inclusion in the member directory
  • Distillery name listed on the SCCDG website

Yearly Leading Distillery Member

This membership will cost you the same amount ($3,000 per year), and must be paid in one installment. You’ll get access to exactly the same benefits listed above.

Quarterly General Distillery Member

This membership level will cost you $200 per quarter. Although you’ll have access to most of the leading membership benefits, you won’t have legislative and policy voting rights. You can also pay for this membership option in one annual lump sum of $800.

South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild

Silver Affiliate Member

This membership will cost you $500 per year, and you’ll get access to the following benefits:

  • Recognition on SCCDG socials
  • Regular newsletters
  • Discounts at SCCDG events
  • Access to member directory
  • Name listed on the SCCDG website

Gold Affiliate Members

You can also opt for the gold affiliate member, which will cost you $1,000 per year. With this membership, you will receive the same benefits as the silver membership, plus:

  • ¼ page in the newsletter
  • Company included in quarterly newsletters
  • Free exhibitor table at Trade Show and Happy Hour

State Fees

Applications to distill in South Carolina state is approximately $5,000 biennial fee, plus an additional $200 for filing fees. However, you may be subject to more fees depending on the type of distillery you plan to operate, and the suggested license.

Licensing Requirements

In South Carolina, you will need to request several licenses to legally manufacture spirits in the state. The primary licenses include:

  • TTB 5110.41 basic permit
  • TTB 5100.24 distilled spirit plant
  • TTB 5110.74 federal license for the manufacture of ethanol fuel

An in-state micro-distillery will require a completed ABL-902 application and a nonrefundable filing fee of $200. You will also need to provide other information, such as:

  • Articles of incorporation
  • Certificate of Authority to do business in the state
  • Partnership agreement

You will also need to follow any specific state requirements, and additional licenses may be required depending on the type of distillery you’re operating, and the alcohol you’re manufacturing. For more information, contact the South Carolina Government.

Distillery Restrictions

  • If moonshine is found in your possession, it’s a misdemeanor
  • Fuel production is only legal with the correct federal licenses
  • You must be over 21 to apply for a license, and no persons under the age of 21 are allowed on your premises
  • No manufacturer can own or operator more than one plant or place of business involved in the manufacturing of alcoholic beverages
  • No deliveries or shipments are to be made to any state that prohibits the receiving or selling of alcoholic beverages
  • You can also ship your beverages to licensed wholesalers inside and outside the state

Note: distillery restrictions are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, contact the South Carolina Department of Revenue Alcohol Beverage Licensing.

The Bottom Line

The South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild (SCCDG) has helped push through some of the most transformative legislation in the industry in decades.

Thanks to their efforts, distilleries in the state have more freedom to sell and distribute their products, and members will benefit from extra promotion and exposure. It’s a win-win for local distilleries and their customers.

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