Wisconsin Bill Goes to Gov.

Group of state legislator comes to craft brewers aid

A bill that would restrict the more than 60 craft brewers across the state in self-distribution and owning their own pubs sits on the Governor’s desk awaiting signage into law. The bill would also create uncertainty among contract brewers.

But a group of Wisconsin legislators led by led by Senators Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and Pam Galloway (R-Wausau) has asked Gov. Scott Walker to veto a provision in the state budget that would restrict the ability of craft brewers to wholesale other brewers’ beer and own taverns.

Grothman was quoted in the Ashland Current as saying, “Wisconsin is known for its breweries, and allowing small craft brewers to own their own taverns will highlight their product. This is the type of provision that should have been dealt with in a separate bill. It was complicated and the thriving craft brew industry did not participate in drafting this provision.”

Senator Robert Jauch (D-Poplar) voiced concern about a lack of information about the provision during the Joint Finance Committee session.

“As a member of the Joint Finance committee, I can assure the Governor we were not given adequate information before we were forced to vote on this provision,” Jauch said.

Represenatives Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) and Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) also signed onto the veto effort.

“Small businesses are the leaders of Wisconsin’s economic recovery, and micro-breweries are no different. They employ many Wisconsinites directly, and many more through their purchase of quality Wisconsin ingredients. Wisconsin should be moving in a business-friendly direction and not legislating more needless government regulation,” Wynn said.

The letter the legislator group sent to Walker urges the governor to consider the veto.

“Paralyzing legitimate small businesses this way should not be the policy of a state we all want to be ‘Open for Business,’” the letter reads.


  1. william.heinric says

    Does this mean that in WI brewers would be able to own a tied house but not self-distribute? While I’m sure that it’s brewery dependent, is this a net gain, loss, or wash?