(Madison, WI) – Today a bipartisan group of legislators led by Senators Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and Pam Galloway (R-Wausau) asked Governor Walker to veto a controversial provision in the state budget that restricts craft brewers’ ability to wholesale other brewers’ beer, own taverns, and creates uncertainty among contract brewers.
“Wisconsin is known for its breweries, and allowing small craft brewers to own their own taverns will highlight their product,” Grothman said. “This is the type of provision that should have been dealt with in a separate bill. It was complicated and the thriving craft brew industry did not participate in drafting this provision.”
“This sends the wrong message to nascent businesses like Big Bull Falls Brewery of Wausau in that it restricts possible avenues of growth. It was particularly disturbing in that it came out of the blue with no time for craft brewers to respond,” said Galloway.
Senator Robert Jauch (D-Poplar) stated: “As a member of the Joint Finance committee, I can assure the Governor we were not given adequate information before we were forced to vote on this provision.”
Representative Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) said: “Small businesses are the leaders of Wisconsin’s economic recovery, and micro-breweries are no different. They employ many Wisconsinites directly, and many more through their purchase of quality Wisconsin ingredients. Wisconsin should be moving in a business-friendly direction and not legislating more needless government regulation.”
“I am concerned that at this time of economic uncertainty we are sending the wrong message to these small growing businesses,” Representative Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) added.