Wisconsin Craft Brewers Fear Change in Sales Regulations

Associated Press writer Todd Richmond reported recently that, “Wisconsin’s craft brewers and wineries are banding together to head off a plan they fear could force them out of business by prohibiting them from selling their beer and wine where it is made.

“No bill has yet been introduced, but a proposal in a memo obtained by a conservative group could force brewers and wineries to work with distributors to sell their products instead of selling directly with customers. Opponents say the Wisconsin Tavern League and alcohol distributors are pushing the plan and fear it could be slipped into the state budget at the last minute.

“Tavern league lobbyists say they’re not aware of any specific proposal, but bars need a level playing field to compete with craft breweries and wineries that are becoming tourism spots. Craft brewers counter that the regulations would hurt business, and bars shouldn’t turn to the government for help dealing with competition. They’ve joined state wineries in an attempt to kill the plan.”

The AP article noted that, “Wisconsin has always been known for its bars. But the picture has been shifting over the last decade as high-profile craft brewers such as New Glarus and Ale Asylum have gained fans. The number of craft breweries has grown from about 75 in 2011 to about 140 last year, according to the Brewers Association, a national craft brewing advocacy group.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.