Again, vacation put me behind the curve on this one. I learned two weeks ago that there was trouble brewing in Ohio when KevBrews e-mailed me and a BA staff member told me about it at CBC. Even then, it looked like the language that would have been so detrimental to brewpubs wasn’t going to make it through, but I tend to be cynical about these things so I continued to worry.
It turns out the BA‘s new grassroots organization, Support Your Local Brewery, had things well in hand. Here’s their story:
Victory in Ohio Thanks to Support Your Local Brewery Members!
On April 19, Support Your Local Brewery was alerted to a potentially devastating piece of legislation on the fast track in the Ohio House of Representatives. A bill dealing with issues relating to the direct shipment of wine was amended to include language that would have essentially stripped self distribution and direct to consumer sales by breweries and brewpubs.
With a floor vote scheduled in less than 24 hours, Ohio members of the Support Your Local Brewery network were alerted and generated dozens of grassroots contacts to legislators’ offices. By April 20th, the offending provision had been pulled from the bill. Your efforts, coupled with the outreach carried on by many Ohio small brewers, turned this threat back, one which would have almost certainly hamstrung many breweries and potentially closed many brewpubs.
Thanks to all those who answered the call, acted in the best traditions of Support Your Local Brewery Beer Activists and helped to ensure the continued success of the Buckeye State’s small brewing community. Cheers!
KevBrews also received an e-mail response from Jon A. Husted, the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, confirming that the anti-brewpub language had been removed from the budget bill. I’m certainly glad that so many people could be marshaled to the cause in such a timely manner, but the speed with which the entire episode arose left me feeling disconcerted about when this will happen again and whether we’ll be as successful or lucky. I’d like to be able to just say “relax, don’t worry, have a beer” but that little voice inside my head won’t let me, the bastard.