House Speaker Stumbo Files Bill to Prohibit Brewery-Owned Distributorships

Jan 12, 2015

Credit David Shankbone - Wikimedia Commons

A debate over beer distribution has made its way to the Kentucky legislature. House Speaker Greg Stumbo has filed House Bill 168 to specify malt beverage licenses and prohibit brewery-owned distributorships.

The bill comes after brewer Anheuser-Busch’s  disputed purchase of a distributorship in Owensboro. Businesses and organizations across the state and nation believe allowing Anheuser-Busch to distribute in the area gives it an unfair advantage over local craft breweries.

Kentuckians for Entrepreneurs and Growth spokesperson Elizabeth Post 

“The bill creates a public debate in our legislature about the threat of massive mega-companies and mega-brewers owning or having financial interest in distributorships. But we do hope to see a level of support that other states have seen because it is such an important issue.”

Anheuser-Busch Spokesperson Damon Williams says the bill is an attack on a responsible corporate citizen and would restrict business competition.

Owensboro Representative Jim Glenn has yet to comment on the bill.