South Dakota Distributors Push Back on Proposed Craft Beer Reform


South Dakota is currently considering an overhaul of its alcohol laws, and one proposal from the Governor's office would free up craft brewers in the state to sell more of their beer directly to retailers and consumers. But unsurprisingly, distributors are pushing back on this potential reform of the three-tiered system:

"South Dakota beer distributors said this week a proposal aimed at letting craft brewers sell their beer directly to stores and restaurants gives them unfair advantages over other players in the beer industry.

Senate Bill 169, put forth by Gov. Dennis Daugaard's office, would boost the amount microbrewers can make each year while still allowing them to hold other licenses. It would also eliminate a provision that prevents them from distributing their beer.

Wholesalers, looking to find middle ground, brought a separate proposal that would increase barrel limits for microbrewers and let them transport their beer to taphouses they run. That proposal, Senate Bill 173, would maintain provisions that prevent brewers from selling directly to retailers.

But the alternate proposal isn't a compromise, craft brewers said, and, if passed, it could put out of reach their goals to expand..."

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