Save Wisconsin Beer
What is going on:
In June Miller/Coors and other large beer companies successfully lobbied to have language inserted into the state budget bill that severely threatens the ability of small, local breweries to thrive in Wisconsin. This corporate giveaway will eliminate jobs, reduce competition, and threaten the future of one of our state’s most cherished industries. Regrettably this non-budgetary provision was passed when the state budget passed at the end of the month.
Why did this happen?
Large beer companies like Miller/Coors want to eliminate the growing competition their products face from locally owned and produced craft beers. Many large wholesalers will also benefit from a provision that will keep potential rivals out of the market.
Some of the grassroots resistance so far:
On Tuesday, May 31st the Joint Finance Committee voted to approve a motion that inserted this non-fiscal provision into the full state budget.
On Friday, June 3rd the Wisconsin Positive Business Alliance, a group affiliated with the Wave, organized a "Save our Beer" rally in opposition to this provision. At the event a high spirited crowd convened near the Capitol to hear first hand from Wisconsin brewers how this will affect their business. Click here for lineup and video footage from the Save our Beer Rally.
What you can do to help stop it!
- Ask your favorite bars and restaurants to take down their Miller/Coors taps and post a factsheet explaining why. (downloadable PDF of factsheet here)
- Call or write your state legislators and tell them to stand up for Wisconsin brewers by sponsoring legislation to reverse this provision
- Call Miller/Coors at 1-800-645-5376 and tell them to you will no longer buy their products unless they work to undo this provision
- Sign the online petition targeting the Governor and state legislature
- Send this page to your friends and family around the state by clicking on the "share/save" button above, and urge them to do the same!
For more information:
- WPBA's factsheet and this blog post from BeerFM provide more specifics on how the budget provision will affect brewers
- The Wisconsin Brewers Guild is a trade organization that represents many of Wisconsin's craft brewers and craft beer lovers
- The 2009 documentary "Beer Wars" gives detailed background about the ongoing challenges small brewers face from the large corporations who dominate the industry