Over the past six years, Wisconsin has nearly doubled in their number of craft breweries; going from 75 in in 2011 to over 140 to begin 2017. Many may think this could only be good news for WI and our alcohol industry, however a recently leaked memo has been circulating around the capital that describes a proposal that would force brewers and wineries to work with distributors to sell their products in bars, instead of selling directly with customers through their own brew pubs.
A recently published article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel stated: “It’s unclear who is pushing the proposal.” However, “The Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a national group backed by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, obtained a memo laying out the plan’s framework, with the acronyms for the tavern league, the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association and the Wisconsin Wine and Spirit Institute, which represents wine distributors, on top of the first page” of this memo. This indicates an industry-led push for such regulations.
Joining Eight O’Clock Buzz guest host Sam Matteson in the studio and by phone–while Brian Standing is away on assignment–are three individuals involved in the industry:
- Mark Garthwaite Exec Director – WI Brewers Guild
- Jim Gorenson – Head Brewer and Owner of Parched Eagle Brewing
- Nate Warnke – Owner Rockhound Brewing