Illinois House passes bill protecting craft brewers’ right to distribute

on 25/05/11 at 8:02 am

Industry

The Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill Monday designed to protect small craft brewers’ ability to enter the market.

The bill, SB 754, had more than 70 co-sponsors by the time it reached the floor. It would allow certain small Illinois brewers to distribute half of their own beer. The bill must now be approved by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Most states have three tiers in place for alcohol distribution: a manufacturer, a retailer and a distributor. The system, put in place at the end of Prohibition, was designed to ensure a properly regulated market.

Small craft brewers have argued that it is difficult to attract distributors with an unknown product, and is necessary to peddle them to bars and liquor stores directly, and gradually establish a following. Anheuser-Busch, however, has argued that this allows in-state brewers to self-distribute when out-of-state brewers are not granted the same privilege.

{Full story via Chicago Tribune}

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