Brewbound Podcast Episode 43: Nancy Palmer on Reforming State Laws

When you’re a state guild leader working on behalf of small craft breweries to get beer distributors on board with any kind of three-tier reform, sometimes it’s best to get out of the way.

“When you have the brewers and the [wholesaler] owners in the same room, they already have a working relationship,” explains Georgia Craft Brewers Guild executive director Nancy Palmer.

Stepping back from the negotiating table and letting the two sides hammer out an agreement, Palmer said, ultimately led to the 2017 passage of Senate Bill 85, which gave craft breweries the right to sell up to 3,000 barrels annually directly to consumers.

“It was just the business owners, and that’s really what produced the outcome that everyone was comfortable with,” she said.

That approach could be deployed again in 2020, Palmer added, as she looks to sell wholesalers on the idea of allowing breweries to self-distribute, as well as reform strict franchise laws that govern relationships between manufacturers and distributors.

“If they [guild members] come out of the room and say ‘this is what we’re doing,’ then that’s what we’re doing,” she said. “That’s my job.”

In episode 43 of the Brewbound Podcast, Palmer discusses what franchise law reform could look like in Georgia, explains what it takes to persuade wholesalers on the idea of reform, and shares her outlook on similar efforts across the U.S.

Listen to episode 43 of the Brewbound Podcast above, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Soundcloud. New episodes of the Brewbound Podcast, which is co-hosted by Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall, are published every Thursday.

Episode 44 will be released on Thursday, July 11.

For questions, comments or suggestions, please email

Show Notes:

0:00 – 10:30: Chris Furnari and Justin Kendall introduce episode 43, do some Fourth of July trivia and share the latest news

10:30 – 39:40: Furnari interviews Georgia Craft Brewers Guild executive director Nancy Palmer

39:40 – 1:00:18: Furnari and Kendall share takeaways from the interview, and select their four-pack of Fourth of July activities.

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