The state of North Carolina has had a long and strange relationship with alcohol laws going back almost a hundred years. In 1908, North Carolina became the first state in the south to enact prohibition, a full twelve years before the 18th amendment made the entire United States dry. It also wasn’t until 1937 that the old north state joined the rest of the country in recognizing the 21st amendment, ending prohibition. More recently, local brewers couldn’t brew a beer with an ABV higher than 6% until House Bill 392, more commonly known as “Pop the Cap” legislation, raised the limit to 15% in 2005. That last piece of legislation paved the way for the explosive growth of the craft beer scene, an industry that has proven to be one of Charlotte’s most popular in recent years. That however, has led us to where we are today. The Craft Freedom movement, organized by representatives at Olde Mecklenburg and NoDa Brewing Companies, aims to change another state law: the one limiting breweries to a 25,000 barrel cap on production before they have to sign up with a distributor. Why does this cap exist? What happens when a brewer reaches this limit? What happened to the failed House Bill 500, the legislation introduced that would have raised the cap? And, of course, who stands to profit from the law as it’s currently written? To answer these questions, we spoke to Charlotte magazine contributing write Matt McKenzie, who has written extensively about the Charlotte craft beer scene over the past several years.