In North Carolina, breweries are allowed to distribute their own beer - up to a certain point. A misguided law, created to favor local distributors, now threatens the growing craft beer industry. The law mandates that once a brewery produces 25,000 barrels of beer in a calendar year (which is equivalent to the amount of beer N.C. consumes in about 1.5 days), it must engage beer distributors to distribute all of their beer. The distributor gains ownership of the brand and control over all sales, delivery, distribution and quality control during transportation – basically everything that matters to a company. The brewery loses almost 30% of its revenue and margin to the distributor, a devastating financial blow to any company, and enters a bloated distributor beer-brand portfolio in which it cannot compete or be adequately supported. Finally, regardless of performance, N.C. law makes it virtually impossible to fire a distributor and regain control of the brand. The brewery is locked in forever. Brewery owners have no choice, and no say in what happens to their business. This is currently the law. And it needs to change.
We who sign here support the craft breweries’ right to grow their business without unnecessary government intervention in our state. We want to see the self-distribution law in North Carolina change from 25,000 barrels to 200,000 barrels, which will allow smaller breweries to become more competitive before they enter a distributor’s portfolio.
The craft beer industry has contributed to the return of local manufacturing jobs and a rekindling of the entrepreneurial spirit in N.C. Our state and world grow and change over time - and the craft beer industry here is both changing and growing along with it. It is common sense that a law that is outdated should be amended to reflect the current times - this is all we are asking for. It’s time for N.C. to support this industry instead of curbing its momentum.
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Craft Freedom is an initiative to change a North Carolina law that restricts the independent growth of breweries by placing an arbitrary cap on the amount of beer they can self-distribute.
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