Saturday, June 11, 2011

Scott Walker brews trouble for beer crafters

Conservative hero Scott Walker redefines small government.
Tucked into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) much-discussed budget was a little-noticed provision to overhaul the state’s regulation of the beer industry. In a state long associated with beer, the provision will make it much more difficult for the Wisconsin’s burgeoning craft breweries to operate and expand their business by barring them from selling directly to restaurants and liquor stores, and preventing them from selling their own product onsite.

The new provision treats craft brewers — the 60 of whom make up just 5 percent of the beer market in Wisconsin — like corporate mega-brewers, forcing them to use a wholesale distributor to market their product. ...
A move made to protect his corporate donor MillerCoors from the slight competition offered by the small craft brewers. Said provision having been snuck into the budget with no announcement, debate or input from the small brewers themselves. But of course, the claim is Walker's Republican minions in the Statehouse were "protecting" the little brewpubs from the other big distributor Anheuser-Busch.

Wondering how my conservative small government loving "fans" are going to justify this one. [Photo via Two Beer Dudes.]

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