Most states, since Prohibition ended, have had a very specific alcohol distribution system in place; manufacturer, distributor and retailer. The system was designed to properly regulate the alcohol market so that larger manufacturers couldn’t just completely overtake the retail market as a whole.
Enter the growing craft beer scene. As more and more small artisan breweries are popping up every year, they’re finding it difficult to allure distributors since their new brews are virtually unknown. They feel, rightly so in my opinion, that it’s necessary to market their beer directly to stores and pubs, in order to establish patronage and grow their business.
The Illinois House of Representatives has heard their proclamations and answered by passing a new bill, just yesterday, designed to protect small brewers’ ability to enter the market. [chicagotribune.com]
Bill SB 754, which had more than 70 co-sponsors when it was passed, allows certain small craft breweries in Illinois to distribute half of their own beer. With any luck, the bill will be approved by Gov. Pat Quinn and these small businesses can begin to grow.
According to chicagotribune.com, even Jim Koch (founder of Sam Adams) couldn’t secure any distributors in the early days, so he "put cold beer in a briefcase and went bar to bar."
If the bill is approved, perhaps more states might follow suit. New business is integral to rebuilding our economy and one thing’s for certain, consumers do spend money on beer.
[techtags:ILLINIOS BREWERS, SB 754, CRAFT BEER BILL, BREWERS RIGHTS]