Moving through a series of House committees, House Bill 903 provides for limited exemptions to the current regulations regarding distribution agreements between beer distributors and manufacturers, as follows: 1) exempts small breweries (i.e. total production volume does not exceed 150,000 gallons of malt beverages a year) from the beer franchise relations law; 2) allows any brewer to provide 120 days written notice and terminate their distributor franchise agreement, but only if the beer manufacturer accounts for 10% or less of the distributors total sales. The bill further authorizes limited self-distribution for certain brewers, as follows: 1) allows a craft brewery whose annual total production volume is less than 7,000 kegs (~108,500 gallons) per year to sell, transport, and deliver (distribute) its own beer from its licensed premises to vendors in a standard keg or similar container (a craft brewery with an existing franchise agreement with a distributor is not eligible for this exemption); 2) requires that the craft brewer comply with certain distribution-specific laws when acting as a distributor, and exempts the craft brewer from the “come-to-rest requirement.” 3) allows brew pubs to transfer beer to a restaurant, of common owner affiliation, which is a part of a restaurant group of not more than 15 restaurants.
Pete Johnson serves as the State & Regulatory Affairs Manager for the Brewers Association (BA). He joined the BA at its inception in 2005, having previously worked as Programs Director for the Brewers Association of America. Before coming to the small brewing industry in 2001, Pete worked for 14 years with both state and federal elected officials in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.See Pete Johnson's Articles