Compromise May End Rift Between North Carolina Craft Brewers And Distributors

Compromise May End Rift Between North Carolina Craft Brewers And Distributors

12:00pm Mar 14, 2019
SEAN BUETER/WFDD

A two-year battle between North Carolina craft brewers and wholesalers may be coming to an end. The North Carolina General Assembly has proposed a bipartisan compromise.

The disagreement stems from a 25,000-barrel cap on craft beer production.  A so-called “franchise law” forces brewers who go over that limit to give wholesale distributors control over sales, marketing, pricing, and other rights.

The two sides ended up in court after a failed attempt to raise that cap to 200,000 barrels.

The News and Observer reports that a compromise bill announced Wednesday creates a new category of “mid-sized independent brewers” who would be allowed to self-distribute up to 50,000 barrels per year.

Craft beer industry representatives released a statement praising the measure, saying it will create new options and opportunities for growing breweries.

According to the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild, the state is home to more than 200 craft brewers, with an annual economic impact of $1.2 billion. 

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