Wisconsin craft brewers fear last-minute regulations in state budget
Jun 29, 2017
Many of our Wisconsin Craft Beer Breweries are being threatened by a last minute amendment to this year's State Budget Bill that would jeopardize their very existence. Please read then reach out to your State Representative and urge them to support the Craft Brewing business in Wisconsin.
The proposed language would "more strictly define" the three-tier system, which consists of manufacturers (breweries big and small), wholesalers/distributors, and retailers (bars/restaurants/liquor stores). If this were to unfold, we could lose our right to self-distribute and our right to have a taproom. Without these avenues, we are unable to build our brand as we choose to.
Many of our favorite small neighborhood craft beer establishments, and some mid-to-large craft breweries too, wouldn't be able to afford the increase in costs and many would simply close their doors.
The outlook for many of Wisconsin’s 140 craft breweries would not be good and the results would have a domino affect on many other industries, and force consumers, bars, restaurants, liquor stores, grocery stores and festivals back to the old 3 – 4 mega brewery options of the past.
Craft Brewers are not just small businesses, but a part of our local communities in which they have developed strong relationships with their customers and other businesses including bars, restaurants and liquor stores. Breweries support growth in many of these industries by supplying consumers with exciting local, fresh, unique beer choices that help their businesses grow and attract new customers.
Craft breweries play very active roles within their local communities and give back to those communities they live, raise families and work in through the donation of time, goods and services to local charities.
Please take the time to voice your opposition to any last-minute amendments to this year's Budget Bill that would so negatively impact Wisconsin craft breweries, you as craft beer fans, and the great State of Wisconsin. You can find your State Senator and Representative information on the State of Wisconsin website.
Below is a draft of a letter you can use:
I urge you to oppose any last minute amendments to this year’s Budget Bill that would change Chapter 125 of the Wisconsin State Code.
Any changes, if they make it into the Budget Bill, were drafted without consulting key stakeholders, including craft breweries, craft distilleries and craft wineries.
The changes, as they are proposed, will have dramatic and negative impact on many of these small businesses, and may in fact put some of these small businesses out of business altogether.
Craft beverage makers in Wisconsin provide many positive benefits: jobs, innovation, tourism dollars, to name a few. They also work closely with their local retailers and partner with wholesalers to bring their product to market.
Instead, we encourage you to invite all parties to the table--manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers--to make meaningful corrections to Chapter 125 that are equitable to and agreed upon by all parties, in a process that is done in open and public debate.
Promote The Brew