State Legislative Roundup: Highlights through the First Five Months of 2024

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As we hit the halfway point of 2024, many state legislatures have either wrapped up their sessions or are in the closing phases of their legislative calendars. Following are some highlights of priority issue legislative action from the first five months of the year. The Brewers Association (BA) worked closely with the respective state guilds on these issues and will be continuing to monitor further developments and any new efforts in state houses across the country in the months ahead.

Offensive Issues


Senate Bill 231, a Liquor Advisory Group Omnibus bill, contained numerous negotiated items that reached consensus in the term between the 2023 and 2024 sessions. In the bill, craft brewers gained the ability to open up to two additional non-congruent production facilities in the state. The BA submitted supportive testimony, urging lawmakers to seek more ways to improve the state’s liquor code and revisit topics like direct-to-consumer shipping and beer franchise law reform. Governor Polis signed the bill into law on May 18.


On June 1 the Delaware Office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (Delaware ABC) adopted Rule 911, which authorizes limited self-distribution in the state. While Delaware’s statutes already allowed the Delaware ABC to permit self-distribution for brewers making less than six million barrels per year, the ABC had not authorized self-distribution. Under Rule 911, Delaware brewers making less than 5,000 barrels per year can self-distribute up to 1,500 barrels per year directly to retailers in the state. The BA submitted comments in support of Rule 911 while indicating support for wider self-distribution rights that would also include out-of-state small brewers.


Senate Bill 511, later renamed House Bill 2124, allows for craft brewers to self-distribute their beer to retailers, restaurants, bars, public venues, and catering companies, bringing beer into parity with wine in the state. This bill was led by the Kansas Brewers Guild and was signed into law by the governor.

Rhode Island

Senate Bill 2695, a bill that would allow for the selling of sixtel kegs by breweries directly to consumers was heard in committee, reported favorably, and passed unanimously from the Senate. It awaits a hearing in the House Small Business Committee.

Senate Bill 2856, a bill that would exempt beer and malt beverages from sales and use tax at retail (bringing beer to parity with wine and spirits in the state), was introduced, sent to Senate Finance, and is awaiting a hearing.

Defensive Issues

Colorado’s Senate Bill 181 would have created an “enterprise fee” for producers of alcohol to help fund services to treat addiction to opioids and other drugs. BA State Government Affairs Director Sam DeWitt worked closely with the Colorado Brewers Guild and their lobbying team to first exempt most craft beer producers from the bill, and then continued to stand with our coalition partners in opposition to the bill. This work involved testifying in the committee of record in both chambers and working daily at the capitol to lobby members to rethink this dangerous precedent-setting legislation. The bill passed through the Senate but did not pass the House Finance committee and was postponed indefinitely.

Coalition Work

The BA has worked closely with coalition partners to stand against canned cocktail tax reductions and expanded retail availability in eight states, and thus far there has been no significant movement on those bills. This continues to be an ongoing battle with the large spirits companies to get themselves a tax break or expanded retail access, and we expect these efforts to continue across the country in 2025 and beyond. Reminder: in the past four years only three states have passed these tax breaks for massive spirits companies, and only one has passed since the coalition got involved with opposing them in 2022.

Additionally, our coalition is keeping a close watch on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and container deposit (often referred to as “bottle bill”) legislation. So far, opponents have headed off efforts to pass such legislation in seven states, and the BA continues working to exempt small and independent craft brewers from those bills which do proceed.

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