Near Disaster in Ohio
May 3, 2007 - While craft brewers convened in Austin for the Craft Brewers Conference two weeks ago, the Ohio state legislature was considering a bill that contained language that would have essentially self-distribution for craft brewers.
On April 19, the 'Support Your Local Brewery' network was alerted to this potentially devastating piece of legislation on the fast track in the Ohio House of Representatives. A bill dealing with issues relating to the direct shipment of wine was amended to include language that would have stripped self distribution and direct to consumer sales by breweries and brewpubs.
With a floor vote scheduled in less than 24 hours, Ohio members of the Support Your Local Brewery network generated dozens of grassroots contacts to legislators' offices. By April 20th, the offending provision had been pulled from the bill. With that effort, coupled with the outreach carried on by many Ohio small brewers, turned this threat back, one which would have almost certainly hamstrung many breweries and potentially closed many brewpubs.
The Brewers Association recently formed "Beer Activists: Support Your Local Brewery," a national union of beer enthusiasts, professional trade associations and brewers formed by the Brewers Association. SYLB is dedicated to supporting and protecting the legislative and regulatory interests of small, traditional and independent craft breweries.
Thanks to the all of the members of Ohio's SYLB network!