AB/InBev, the parent company of Anheuser-Busch, is attempting to raise the amount of free branded glassware a brewery or wholesaler can provide to a retailer from 2 cases to 4 cases annually (with a new annual limit of 7 cases that a retailer would be allowed to receive). The Belgium-based multi-national conglomerate submitted a proposed amendment Tuesday morning, just hours before the Senate Agriculture Committee was set to vote on HB 522 .
The Ohio Craft Brewers Association, a trade group representing Ohio brewers, was successful in getting the vote postponed. OCBA spokesman Justin Hemminger said that AB was trying to ram the amendment through at the last-minute in a lame-duck session without any public comment, and the trade group is now trying to get the amendment removed entirely.
“OCBA fully objects to this attempt to expand anti-competitive pay-to-play practices in the beer industry,” Hemminger said. “A change in the current law would allow for big breweries like Anheuser-Busch InBev to exert control over retailer purchasing decisions, which in turn would limit consumer choice in the marketplace.”
The OCBA has set up a page with more information on the bill and how it could affect the industry. If you are interested finding out how you can contact your lawmakers and what you can to help stop the legislation, you can click here: