As a Wisconsin native who loves craft beer, legislation recently passed by the Joint Finance Committee in Wisconsin angers me. You can read about the legislation here.

The main goal is to keep Anheuser-Busch from owning wholesale distributors in Wisconsin. But there are a number of provisions, highlighted in this article, that would be devastating to the many, many craft breweries in Wisconsin.

First, while microbreweries would still be allowed to sell their beer to retailers, they would not be able to obtain wholesale licenses. This prevents microbreweries from being able to sell their own beer themselves, as well as from banding together to run a wholesale retailer.

The second (and in my opinion, far worse consequence) is that microbreweries would no longer be able to operate brew pubs and restaurants. Those of you reading closely might say “well, they can technically own no more than two.” True–good reading. However, the restaurants that brewers own are NOT allowed to distribute that brewer’s beer. Kinda defeats the purpose, wouldn’t you say?

On July 15th this will go to the full Legislature for a vote. I urge my fellow Wisconsinites to contact your representatives and senators and tell them how this legislation will hurt craft breweries!