One craft brewer potentially hurt by "beer bill"

03/19/2015 06:01 PM

Two micro-breweries found themselves on opposing sides during the discussion and passage of House Bill 168, known as the “beer bill” which sets up the three-tier approach for companies producing, distributing and selling alcoholic beverages.

Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati started up Riverghost Distributing in Erlanger in December 2014, to distribute Rhinegeist products in Kentucky. However, when House Bill 168 becomes law, Rhinegeist will be prohibited from distributing in the commonwealth.

“It’s pretty mind boggling to me that a state would pass legislation that would put an entrepreneur who invested in their state out of business along with the jobs he’s created and the investments that he’s made,” Bonder said.

Daniel Harrison, who is co-founder of Country Boy Brewing in Lexington, has been a staunch supporter of the bill because he is fearful that big breweries like Anheuser- Busch will begin to buy more than the two distributorships that they already own, which could make it tougher for his product to get to store shelves.

“We rely on independent distributors to get our products on to shelves and to taps at local bars,” Harrison said.

Governor Steve Beshear is expected to sign the bill into law, but the issue is likely headed to the courts for a final resolution.


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