The three-tier system has finally come to a compromise in the Cornhusker state. Introduced in January 2017, legislative bill LB632 aimed to change provisions relating to the Nebraska Liquor Control Act and the Music Licensing Agency Act. The bill does a few things, but for breweries it proposed a requirement that brewers would first have to ship its products to a distributor’s warehouse, and then ship it to a bar, restaurant, retailer and even their own tasting room before it could be sold. Beautiful Nebraska is a wide and expansive Great Plains state, and brewers felt the bill was unnecessarily forcing them to spend more money, time and resources going through a “liquor distributor” that might not be all that close.
Chief sponsor Sen. Tyson Larson said the bill was needed to 1) make it easier to collect excise taxes and 2) to protect the state from litigation — as in-state breweries would get an unconstitutional advantage over out-of-state brewers, and that might spell trouble. Fun fact: Larson is also a big advocate of lion hunting in the state. Luckily, the distributors and brewers seem to have come to an agreement. According to the Kearney Hub (a publication in central Nebraska for the last 130 years):
But on Tuesday, a compromise crafted over the past few months was presented during a public hearing before the State Liquor Control Commission. No one objected. The only testifier, an attorney for the brewers, Vanessa Silke of Omaha, said that once the parties sat down in the same room, they realized they needed to work together, not against each other.
The proposed rule change — which must be approved by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and governor — clarifies that craft brewers can deliver their products to their own tasting rooms without a trip to a distributor.
Beer sent to other retail locations can first come “at rest” at either a distributor’s warehouse or on a distributor’s delivery truck.
See world, people can work together. Told you.