Today, the Brewers Association announced two new position statements regarding the craft brewing industry. Thanks to the BA for their continued advocacy on behalf of Brewers. To read the full position statements, click here. Excerpts are copied below, with emphasis added to key points.
Brewery Direct to Customer Sales
The Brewers Association (BA) believes the American consumer should have access to the widest range of domestically produced beers made available by licensed breweries.
The BA recognizes that not all beers have adequate sales levels to find distribution on retailers’ shelves or wholesalers’ warehouses. In such situations, consumers may be willing to go to the brewery premises to find beers not readily available through normal distribution channels.
The success or failure of a beer should depend on consumer demand, rather than on artificial barriers to distribution.
BA supports state laws that respect and enhance consumer choice in the marketplace. BA believes that to provide the greatest ongoing choice for consumers, small brewers should have the right to sell beer directly to qualified consumers.
For Small Packaging Breweries
The ability to sell beer directly to qualified consumers from a packaging/bottling brewery’s premise would enhance customer loyalty and help increase sales within the three tier distribution system. Such right is not intended to bypass the three tier distribution.
For Small Brewery-Restaurants/Brewpubs
Granting brewery-restaurants/brewpubs the right to offer closed and sealed containers of their company’s on premise brewed beer for off premise consumption is an effective means of engendering brand loyalty and improving customer relations and service. Such capability is not intended to bypass the distribution of bottled, canned or prepackaged beer within the three tier distribution system.
Alcohol Content in Beer
The Brewers Association (BA) believes the American beer drinker should have access to the widest range of domestically brewed beers made available by licensed breweries. The BA advocates for and supports state laws and regulatory protocols which expand beer drinker choice in the American marketplace. The accessibility of diverse American beer styles should reflect demand for these beers from responsible beer drinkers, and should not be restricted through artificial barriers to market entry.
BA believes that to provide the greatest ongoing choice for American beer drinkers, consistent with historical brewing tradition and beer’s valued role in American food and beverage culture, brewers should have the right to offer beers of varying alcohol content and not be restricted by limits of alcohol by volume (abv) or alcohol by weight (abw). Similarly, American beer drinkers should have the right to the responsible enjoyment of different beer styles with the appropriate alcohol strength without having to pay a different tax based on the alcohol content of the beer.