(Chico, CA) – Here is Sierra Nevada Brewing‘s response to the legislative limbo in Tennessee.
….as sent by Communications Coordinator, Bill Manley:
It is true we are looking for a new facility in the East, although, no final decisions have been made as to whether we ARE in fact going to build. Nevertheless, we’ve narrowed our search down to a handful of locations and we are doing our due diligence in finding the best spot for our company moving forward.
That said, one of the requirements for us in any site is to be able to brew and sell the full lineup of our beers. All of the states on our final lists either A) Have laws that would already allow us to do what we are doing here in Chico or B) Are working on amendments to state laws that would allow us to brew and sell our beer.
Sierra Nevada does not employ lobbyists in any of the states we are considering for a potential eastern location, and have had little-to-no input on any of these potential bills moving through state governments. We are in the business of brewing beer, not writing legislation. We have no interest in excluding craft brewers, nor limiting the favorable business environments that allow the craft brewing community to thrive. At the end of the day, we have very little control or involvement over the legislation in question.
As it currently stands, Tennessee state laws would make it impossible for us to brew beer above 5% ABW (6.25% by volume) and it would also be impossible for us to sell beer out of a potential gift shop at a future site located within the state.
When we were first considering sites to locate a potential brewery, we had “The ability to brew our full lineup of beers” on our list of requirements before any considerations could be made. We assume this current Tennessee law was designed to accommodate this requirement and to make that state a more attractive candidate for us in our search for a new brewery. This bill is an attempt to make that state more attractive as a potential site for our Eastern facility.
The bill itself is very fluid, and a current “work in progress.” It has come to light that as the bill currently stands, it could potentially harm the craft brewing community in Tennessee. We have communicated to Tennessee officials encouraging them to take a “do no harm” tactic in allowing craft brewers across the state, wherever they may be, to brew whatever type of beer they see fit. Sierra Nevada has always supported the notion that what’s good for craft brewing is good for us all. We want to ensure the craft brewing environment across the country is healthy, vibrant and strong.
Photo Credit: Buy the ticket, take the ride. (Creative Commons)