Beer, many of us love it. I definitely count myself a fan. A nice hefewiesen on a hot day while grilling burgers is one of the great gifts of life. But stouts, ales, lagers, pilsners, porters, and bocks all have their place. Variety is the spice of life, and beer. And that is why craft brewers have sprouted up like barley shoots all over our great nation over the last decade. It is a golden age for beer drinkers. Never before have beer consumers had so much quality and so much variety.
But the beer distributors are wary. Long a political powerhouse they are not keen on these little breweries sprouting up and selling their product directly to customers. Beer distribution is THEIR business and they want a cut. As such, in Florida the lobbyists have come out in force to get the government to force brewers to first sell their beer to the distributors and then to buy back the beer at a 30-40% markup. The beer doesn’t leave the brewery except with the customer, but the distributors want a law which forces these budding beer businesses to pay up. For nothing.
Sounds like the mafia, except it’s the government.
(From Raw Story)
The law would force craft brewers to sell their bottled and canned beer directly to a distributor. If they want to sell it in their own tap rooms, they would then have to buy it back at what is typically a 30-40 percent mark-up without the bottles or cans ever leaving the brewery, according to Joshua Aubuchon, a lawyer and lobbyist for the Florida Brewers Guild.
The rule would not apply to draft beer.
“That to me looks like racketeering,”