When Stone Brewing Co., the nation’s 10th-largest craft beer producer,  announced its list of potential new locations, South Carolina wasn’t on it due largely to the fact of its high taxes.

The San Diego, Calif.-based company narrowed its list to Columbus, Ohio; Richmond, Va.; and Norfolk, Va.

According to GreenvilleOnline, Greenville, S.C. was on the list almost to the end.

Brook Bristow, who is general counsel for the S.C. Brewers Association and assisted in recruitment efforts said that those other cities were chosen because they are not just centrally located — they also offer a better tax climate.

Both Ohio and Virginia have vastly lower excise taxes on beer — 18 cents per gallon in Ohio, 26 cents per gallon in Virginia, compared to 77 cent per gallon in South Carolina, he told Greenville Online.

“We can’t do anything about where we are, but we can make where we are more attractive for business,” Bristow said. “The brewers association’s next priority is cutting that tax. Currently, South Carolina has one of the 10 highest excise taxes in the country. That has to change to seriously compete with other states.”

South Carolina did make some changes to try and pretty itself for Stone Brewing.

Governor Nikki Haley signed “Stone Law,” which loosened restrictions on beer production and consumption in an effort to make the state more attractive for Stone’s $31 million project.

The bill, which was pushed through this spring after it became clear that brewery was interested in the state, changed the law to allow producing large amounts of beer while also operating a restaurant.

Unfortunately the bill wasn’t enough to woo Stone Brewery. Though it was a step in the right direction, Stone was turned off by South Carolina’s high taxes and regulations. Hopefully South Carolina, a so-called “Red State,” will start changing its laws to embracing free market principles.

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Joshua Cook

Joshua Cook is a writer and reporter for Truth In Media. He has interviewed many politicians including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Walter Jones, Bob Graham, Trey Gowdy and thought leaders who shape U.S. policy. He is a host of 'Beer and Politcs' on Truth In Media. If you have any tips please email him at joshua@truthinmedia.com. Find him on Twitter @RealJoshuaCook

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  • Undecider

    Moving from California? But why?

    • bimmers

      lol … this is a funny question.

    • Benjamin Wood

      They’re not leaving Cali, they’re adding an East Coast location.

  • Dave Hunt

    Funny how most of the stories coming off of Ben Swann lately are bad mouthing red states or conservatives. Seems like libs have taken over here.

    • r3VOLution is NOT republican

      What is a “lib,” SPECIFICALLY?
      What is a “conservative,” SPECIFICALLY?

  • Mike

    Horrible title…

    Companies are moving to SC daily. You’re using one incident in a very unique industry and trying to paint the whole state with it. Low property costs, low income and corporate taxes, and a very supportive state government makes South Carolina a great place to be.

    • DarthTrader

      Yes, Disingenuous title to be sure . . .

      Clearly a Straw Man Disinformation swipe at SC