A website named ncbeerjobs.com appeared recently with what appeared to be a plea to residents of NC to defeat two bills in the NCGA and save NC Beer Jobs! The problem is the bills are relatively benign in nature. The text on the site talks about MillerCoors and these bills would not affect those employees or that business one iota. The other business mentioned was independent beer distributors and I believe that is who is really behind this website. I tried to figure it out from their logo and web registration, but no dice, so let’s check out the bills in question to figure out who is behind this farce.
H278 is pretty simple, it moves the limit to self distribute from 25K BBL to 100K BBL. Those who would want this to pass are the breweries approaching 25K BBL who self distribute. I suspect that would be Red Oak, because most have distribution agreements. The reason the distributors would not want this to pass is breweries could potentially dump them and self distribute, but most breweries do not desire to self distribute because it requires time and resources. The bill should pass and no jobs will be effected, if a brewery does self distribute it would actually create jobs.
H625 is also pretty simple, it allows contract brewing and selling those beers at the brewery. I really cannot see how this would hurt jobs. Brewing more beer generally equals more jobs, not less.
Plain and simple this is an effort by someone, probably distributors, to keep people out of their playground. They don’t want to see breweries self distribute and they don’t want to see sales at the brewery because then they don’t get their piece of the pie. The truth of the matter is the more breweries the more jobs because that beer still has to reach the consumer. It’s a bait and switch campaign. I’m not sure where the “petition” goes, but I’m pretty sure in coming days we’ll figure it out as these bills move through the NCGA.