Scott Maitland, owner of TOPO Distillery, sold the first bottle of liquor outside of the ABC Commission system in North Carolina since 1909 on Thursday.
“This is kind of a minor miracle,” Maitland joked at the event hosted at TOPO Distillery to celebrate the significant moment in North Carolina history.
Dozens attended the occasion that was open to the public, including North Carolina Sen. Rick Gunn, who purchased the first bottle. Breakfast and tours of the facility were offered to guests, who also had the opportunity to purchase TOPO Distillery spirits for the first time, thanks to the passing of House Bill 912.
Signed Wednesday, House Bill 912 allows distilleries to sell their own bottled products on site. Maitland said he appreciates the magnitude of the bill and the time and effort expended to achieve its legitimization. He even brought his children, including his newborn baby, to witness the historical transaction.
“This law is the thing that’s going to supercharge the growth of our industry and really have a big impact,” Maitland said.
Gunn, a crucial player in the authorization of the bill, was excited to be a part of its first application.
“The state wants to promote entrepreneurship,” Gunn said.
Keith Crissman, an assistant distiller at TOPO Distillery, spoke to the bill’s advantages.
“It’s allowing people choice,” Crissman said.