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Craft Brewers Upset Over Effort to Make Regulatory Changes

Small brewers in Wisconsin are concerned over a leaked document, and say if legislators support it, taprooms could be harmed.


The draft document, made public Thursday by Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin, is aimed at creating a rigid three-tier system.


Eric Bott, the state director at Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin, told CBS 58, leaking the document is a “Risk for me, big time.”


Bott said his motivation in releasing the draft is to stop it before it can gain any legislative momentum.


In a press release, Bott also called the proposal, “…a vicious sneak attack on hundreds of Wisconsin small businesses…”


It’s not explicitly clear who is behind the draft, but Bott believes organizations that represent taverns and alcohol distributors are behind it.


Brewers in Wisconsin feel slighted, because they believe this document shows their industry partners (alcohol distributors, wholesalers, and retailers) are trying to make changes without them.


Wisconsin Brewers Guild Executive Director, Mark Garthwaite, said, “"It's a little disheartening the backroom deals like the one that we're seeing today kind of undercut that trust and cooperation."


No state legislator is openly supporting the proposal.


There's concern, however, it could end up being tucked in the state’s final budget motion, called “Motion #999”.


That's traditionally where controversial proposals are placed, because legislators don't have to put their names on it.


Full draft document below:

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