Mississippi House Bill 1322 will allow small craft breweries in the state to sell their products on the premises, for consumption on or off the premises. The bill takes effect on July 1, 2017 and includes a new surety bond requirement for small craft breweries.
Small craft breweries are defined as those permitted to brew or manufacture light wine or beer in Mississippi. Small breweries manufacture or brew no more than 60,000 barrels of light wine or beer, and cannot sell at retail more than 10% or 1,500 barrels of their annual production, whichever amount is less. These totals do not include contract-brewed beer, meaning beer brewed under contract for another beer manufacturer. Small breweries cannot sell more than 576 ounces of light wine or beer to any one person in a 24-hour period. They cannot mail or ship light wine or beer to a customer, and cannot sell products at retail for resale. However, the small brewery’s products must be available for sale to wholesalers.
Small craft breweries and brewpubs must already post a surety bond as part of becoming permitted to manufacture light wine or beer. The bond must be between $5,000 and $200,000 with the amount determined by the Mississippi State Tax Commission within the Department of Revenue. It must not exceed the amount of excise tax owed by the brewery or brewpub in a 60-day period.
HB 1322 requires small craft breweries that want to distribute light wine or beer for sale on the premises to post another surety bond, the amount of which should not exceed the amount of excise tax owed by the brewery in a 60-day period. The bond ensures that breweries pay all taxes required of them by the state of Mississippi.
Excise taxes for the previous month must be paid to the Department of Revenue by the fifteenth of the following month. The penalties for nonpayment of taxes include interest of one percent per month assessed on owed taxes by the Commissioner of the Department. The Commissioner may also assess a penalty for nonpayment up to the full amount of taxes owed.
HB 1322 also allows brewpubs to sell their products for consumption off-premises in growlers, which must be labeled with their contents and hold no more than 128 ounces. Brewpubs are defined as restaurants that manufacture or brew light wine or beer. Brewpubs can produce no more than 75,000 gallons of light wine or beer per year. Under current law, brewpubs can only sell the last 100 gallons of beer within a fermenting tank in kegs for consumption off-premises.