Press Clips: Kentucky Bill Aims to Strip A-B of Wholesaler Rights


Kentucky Lawmaker Aims to Strip A-B of Wholesaler Rights

Anheuser-Busch may have to find another way to distribute its beer in certain areas of Kentucky if one lawmaker gets his way. On Friday, House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonburg) filed a bill that would prevent larger brewers from taking over wholesale operations and distributing their products directly to retailers, reports the Courier Journal. According to the article, a Franklin Circuit Court judge ruled last year that there was nothing illegal about the beer giant operating as a distributor and the company subsequently bought a distributorship in Owensboro. The company has also owned a wholesale operation in Louisville since 1978. In a statement obtained by the Courier Journal, Stumbo said the proposed bill is about promoting consistency in how the three-tier system operates, which typically prohibits manufacturers from acting as distributors. “This bill makes the statutes consistent so that these distributors will not be taken over by large, out-of-state corporate companies,” he said.

A-B to Refund Americans for Kirin Import Confusion

Anheuser-Busch will offer a cash refund American consumers who purchased its Kirin Ichiban brand to settle a class action lawsuit that accused the company of deceptively marketing the beer as an import, despite its being brewed in the U.S. Although the beer is brewed in Los Angeles, Calif. and Williamsburg, Va., according to ABC News, its labels have more prominently touted the beer as an “import” and “Japan’s prime brew.” Those eligible for the refunds can earn back up to $50, but must have made their purchases between October 25, 2009 and December 17, 2014. Those without receipts can earn up to $12. In the settlement, the article adds, the company maintained that its marketing of the brand has “always been truthful and not deceptive.”

The Growing Business of Planning Craft Beer Events

There are a number of ancillary businesses that benefit from the booming craft beer industry. Now, in Colorado, the business of craft beer consulting and event planning is emerging as a niche profession of its own, according to the Denver Business Journal. Imbibe, a Denver-based craft beer event planning company, orchestrated roughly 80 events in 2014, according to the article, leaving substantial room for growth, as there are an estimated 1,000 events related to craft beer, wine, spirits or retail in the state every year, never mind the festivals that occur throughout the country. And Imbibe isn’t the only company. “The goals of my consulting business is to facilitate craft beer programs — either spiffy them up or start them on a resort level, because that resort niche is not served yet,” Laura Lodge, owner of Customized Craft Beer Programs, told the Journal. “It’s not about my love of beer. It’s my love of the industry and the people who make up the craft-beer industry.”

New York Senator Seeks Insurance for Malt Barley Farmers

In an effort promote agricultural growth in New York, Senator Chuck Schumer is looking to establish an insurance program for the state’s barley farmers. The program would protect crops that are critical not only to a farmer’s business, but also the growing contingent of startup craft breweries and distilleries. “All you need is some bad weather, hail, or early frost or it can be some international condition. All of a sudden another country jumps a huge amount of product on the market. And you’re stuck. So farmers more than just about anyone need insurance,” Schumer told New York’s ABC affiliate program. Insurance is available to farmers in other states, the article adds, so Schumer will soon meet with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in an attempt to convince the agency to add New York to the list.

MillerCoors Aluminum Vendor Suffers Plant Breakdown

Production at an aluminum manufacturing plant that supplies materials to MillerCoors is expected to be slowed until later this month as the plant works to fix a key piece of broken machinery, according to a report from Bloomberg. It’s worth noting that Novelis supplies aluminum not just to MillerCoors, but beverage giant Coca-Cola and a handful of other craft breweries as well.