By Tim Kowols
Area craft brewers are keeping an eye on legislation with major implications for their business operations. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, a proposal has been circulated to require craft breweries running tap rooms to buy what they make from distributors to be served in-house. While many legislators have dismissed the proposal, River Falls Republican Rep. Shannon Zimmerman told the Fargo-Moorhead Forum it could be included as a last minute, 999 motion in the final draft of the state budget. Ahnapee Brewery owner Nick Calaway says having to buy back the beer small breweries make would eat a large chunk of their revenues depending on the size.
Five microbreweries call Door and Kewaunee County home, which contributes to a combined economic impact of over $2 billion in the state according to the Wisconsin Craft Beverage Coalition, which includes local wineries, distilleries, and breweries.