Ohio Brewery News
Brewers Freedom Alliance Urges Support for New Legislation
A new Ohio Senate bill will update an antiquated law hurting Ohio’s craft brewers.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, Senator Andrew Brenner introduced new legislation intended to modernize the Ohio Alcoholic Beverages Franchise Act and support small businesses across the state. For nearly 50 years, franchise law surrounding the brewing industry has been left virtually untouched, which has resulted in harm to the Ohio craft brewing industry. The Brewers Freedom Alliance urges Ohio lawmakers to support small Ohio business owners with this legislation.
Ohio is home to more than 430 independently owned craft breweries. These small business owners are forced to comply with the Ohio Alcoholic Beverages Franchise Act of 1974: legislation that was built to check the power of large corporations but now locks small brewers into unfair, effectively unbreakable contracts with large, powerful wholesalers (the businesses that deliver Ohio craft beers to market).
“Very few people in Ohio right now know that franchise law exists or how it impacts craft brewers. Because of this outdated law, we have no negotiating power, no recourse and no way out of unfair contracts. Our Brewers Freedom Alliance is working to change that,” says Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. “We are appreciative that Senator Brenner and other Ohio lawmakers have heard our pleas for relief and are now taking action.”
The Ohio Craft Brewer Freedom Act introduced by Senator Brenner will carve small craft breweries out of the franchise law that was never meant to apply to small businesses. This bill will provide small and independent breweries the freedom to negotiate fair and enforceable distribution contracts with their wholesale partners without interference from the state.
“This bill is about small business owners having the freedom and flexibility to make the best decisions for their employees, brewery and customers,” said Senator Brenner, R-Delaware. “I’m proud to carry this legislation that I know will make Ohio an even better place to live and do business.”
This legislation comes after the Brewers Freedom Alliance launched a campaign to educate lawmakers, consumers and all Ohioans on the current craft brewing industry and the changes needed to allow it to thrive. Brewers Freedom Alliance is hopeful lawmakers will support this legislation and realize policy changes are needed now.
Send a message in support of the Ohio Craft Brewer Freedom Act to your lawmakers: ohiocraftbeer.org/freedom