Reform Outdated Franchise Laws

Did you know that in most states, if a brewer sells to a wholesaler, they’re unable to leave that distributor, regardless of any terms or expiration date agreed to by the parties, without showing “good” or “just cause”? These are legal terms with no solid definition and are difficult to prove, so few craft brewers can afford a lengthy legal battle necessary to show “cause.” In most states, even if a brewer or wholesaler sells their business, the franchise law effectively locks the brewer into continuing to do business with the wholesaler or, if the wholesaler decides to sell, even the wholesaler’s chosen successor.

Let Brewers Self-Distribute

Did you know that in some states, brewers must utilize a distributor to get their beers into liquor stores, restaurants, and bars? These rules, mandating a middleman, apply even if the brewer wants to service the retailer across the street, forcing beer to be trucked long distances for no purpose.

Allow Direct-to-Consumer Shipping

Currently, consumers in 47 states and the District of Columbia can receive wine at their homes from wineries in- and outside the state. But did you know that beer consumers enjoy those rights in only a fraction of those states? Why? The wine example illustrates that shipping, done legally and regulated smartly, does not increase underage access. Indeed, in the past two decades wine shipping has increased substantially yet underage drinking has continued to decline.

State Craft Beer Sales & Production Statistics, 2022

Craft beer sales and production by state, breweries per capita, economic impact of craft breweries and other statistics as gathered and maintained by the Brewers Association.

Let’s Work Together

Sam DeWitt | State Government Affairs Manager

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