Beer Franchise Law Signed in Wyoming

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Governor Gordon signs Senate File 0079

Boulder, Colo.March 7, 2024—The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers—is pleased to announce that Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has signed Senate File 0079 (SF 0079), a long-negotiated compromise between craft brewers and beer distributors, into law. The legislation will go into effect July 1, 2024.

The bill allows brewers producing less than 25,000 barrels per year—whether located in Wyoming or another state—to terminate contracts with their wholesaler without cause, removing a requirement for lengthy and costly litigation between the parties. Instead, the bill creates a 45-day window and a “good faith estimate” fair market value payment to the wholesaler. If the wholesaler and brewer disagree on the amount, the final compensation due will be established by binding arbitration.

“Thanks to the tireless advocacy of the Wyoming Craft Brewers Guild, in partnership with the Brewers Association, and cooperation with the Wyoming Beer Wholesalers Association, antiquated beer franchise laws are being updated and leveling the playing field in a challenging and consolidating market,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association. “Thank you, Governor Gordon, for signing Senate File 79 and supporting Wyoming’s small and independent craft brewers.”

It took a year of negotiations between wholesalers and brewers, but last week, Senate File 79 cleared its final legislative hurdle, passing 60 to 0 (two excused) on the third reading from the House floor. It then moved to Governor Gordon’s desk for his signature, which he signed on Thursday.

“Passing a bill like this with little opposition is proof positive of two things,” said Michelle Forster, Executive Director of the Wyoming Craft Brewers Guild. “The enormous amount of energy and commitment from the Wyoming beer industry and the fact that it simply needed to be done. Lawmakers saw the need for a statutory change that supports a healthy marketplace for Wyoming’s small beer producers, and they exercised their legislative power to make it happen.”

“From coast to coast, states are taking a hard look at how their beer franchise laws impact small brewers, and I’m very happy to see Wyoming leading the way with SF 79,” said Sam DeWitt, state government affairs director, Brewers Association. “Bills like SF 79 will help level the playing field and give small brewers a voice in how their beer is bought and sold.”

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About the Brewers Association

The Brewers Association (BA) is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their beers, and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The BA represents 5,600-plus U.S. breweries. The BA’s independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The Brewers Association organizes events, including the World Beer Cup®Great American Beer Festival®Craft Brewers Conference® & BrewExpo America®National Homebrew Competition, and American Craft Beer Week®. The BA publishes The New Brewer® and Zymurgy® magazines, and Brewers Publications® is the leading publisher of brewing literature in the U.S. Beer lovers are invited to learn more about the dynamic world of craft beer at® and about homebrewing via the American Homebrewers Association®. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 13672 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.