Wisconsin: Small brewers say they’re victims in Miller-Bud war
on 05/06/11 at 3:20 pmBeer
A Wausau craft beer brewer is up in arms about a state budget provision he said could make it difficult to expand and will deter others from opening breweries.
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee last week approved a measure aimed at keeping Anheuser-Busch Inc. from aggressively moving into Wisconsin by preventing brewers from owning wholesale distributors.
Tim Roby, spokesman for the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association, said the move would prevent Anheuser-Busch, makers of Budweiser products, from buying up distributors across Wisconsin to drastically increase its presence in a market dominated now by MillerCoors.
“We believe everything that small craft brewers can do today, they’ll be able to do once the bill is signed and passed into law,” he said.Local brewers, including Don Zamzow of Bull Falls Brewery, insist that a number of the proposed changes could stifle a now-booming craft beer industry.