Anheuser-Busch has filed a lawsuit in Franklin County Circuit Court to speed along an appeal process for the company’s disputed application to self-distribute in Owensboro. AB is asking the court to order the Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control malt beverage administrator to immediately grant the company the license and rule on AB’s motion to dismiss appeals of the local ABC’s original approval.
Many businesses and organizations submitted letters of protest stating concerns that AB would have an unfair advantage over local breweries and a negative impact on the local beer market if allowed to distribute in Owensboro.
The company has owned a distributorship in Louisville since 1978. Anheuser-Busch region vice president for sales Bob Kelley said his company's distributing in Owensboro would change nothing for customers.
“Anheuser-Busch has operated a licensed distributorship in Louisville, paid taxes, invested in the community and provided well-paying jobs to Kentuckians for almost four decades,” said Bob Kelley. “It is unfortunate that instead of making investments to grow our business in Kentucky, we have to take this action.”
By law the State ABC had to approve or reject the application within 60 days, a deadline which AB said has been passed.