North Carolina craft brewers and wholesalers have reached a compromise in a contentious years-long dispute over the state’s self-distribution and franchise laws. After filing a lawsuit two years ago challenging the constitutionality of a state law requiring brewers who sell more than 25,000 barrels to forfeit self-distribution rights and sign with a wholesaler, Craft Freedom LLC — a trade group consisting of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and NoDa Brewing Co. — has struck a deal with the North Carolina Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association that could create an additional brewer classification for “mid-sized independent breweries” selling fewer than 100,000 barrels annually.
In the latest Legislative Update: Vermont approves franchise law reform; Kansas legalizes contract brewing; Colorado sets guidelines for full-strength beer sales in grocery and convenience stores; and more news from the states.
A lawsuit brought by two North Carolina breweries that challenges the constitutionality of the state’s distribution laws is inching toward a trial. Last Thursday, Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour denied the state’s motions to dismiss the case or send it to a three-judge panel. A trial date has not been set.