South Dakota

South Dakota Distributors Push Back on Proposed Craft Beer Reform

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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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South Dakota Considers Overhaul of Booze Laws

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While details remain somewhat scarce, South Dakota lawmakers appear to be on the brink of considering a bevy of bills that would substantially overhaul the state alcohol code. The Capital Journal reports:

The governor and some lawmakers want to rewrite many South Dakota laws on making, distributing and selling liquor, beer, wine and other alcohol and expand some too. The best part: They want it done before the legislative session ends March 26. It’s going to be a big fight that comes as Gov. Dennis Daugaard enters his final year.

Daugaard set things brewing months ago not long after the 2017 session ended. He told the state Department of Revenue to start working with different parties about straightening out various parts of laws that seem inconsistent, are in conflict or need changes to keep pace with other states. Those products appear in two proposals Revenue Secretary Andy Gerlach already filed. A third is coming directly from Daugaard...

HB 1070 is 65 pages with 133 sections covering scores of changes proposed for manufacturing, distributing and retailing. HB 1067 creates a second type of license for farm wineries. Evans said a third measure still without a number is “a governor’s bill” and covers beer breweries in South Dakota. Governor’s aide Patrick Weber is handling it.

Evans identified five other bills by draft numbers. He said legislators would sponsor them..."

Read more here.