Craft brewers arguing for more flexibility in distribution
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Craft brewers in Vermont say they want updates to the state franchise law because the current law unfairly benefits distributors instead of brewers.
The law itself was written in 1975, and mandates brewers must continue working with a distributor once the distributor begins to carry the brewer’s product. Vermont Public Radio reports four distribution companies now control a large share of the Vermont market while the state’s craft brewing industry has seen major growth.
Vermont Brewers Association President Avery Schwenk argues brewers should have options for contracts as they grow as companies. Farrell Distributing General Manager Todd Bouton says the change would be bad for the industry.
A House bill now under discussion would change Vermont’s franchise law, giving brewers more power to negotiate contracts.
Information from: WVPS-FM, http://www.vpr.net