You can get craft beer in a bottle, in a can, in a growler (in some states) and possibly even in pouches (pouches!). But a Vermont bill is now toying with the idea of getting craft beer by mail. The bill would allow Vermont brewers to ship their beers directly to customers, expanding their self-distribution and reaching a new audience.
Not all are happy with the idea however. The Burlington Free Press reported:
A retailer and an association of distributors testified Wednesday before a House committee that they are concerned about beer being shipped to underage consumers. They say that if Vermont allows beer to be shipped in state, it would have to open itself up to out-of-state breweries shipping beer to Vermont customers.
“If you allow in-state shipping, these products are going to be delivered to somebody ordering it off the Internet. It absolutely is going to happen,” said George Bergin, co-owner of the Vermont Wholesale Beverage in Winooski.
Vermont currently allows wineries to ship, but forbids beer shipments. The Burlington Free Press stated that Vermont craft brewers can export their brews, but to a limited number of states, which includes California, New Hampshire and Oregon. Still, Vermont brewers hope that this will open up new opportunities.
“It creates a new channel for sales for really small and artisanal brewers, in particular,” said Sean Lawson of Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Warren who is president of the Vermont Brewers Association. “Given the costs of shipping, it really only makes sense for the higher end products in the beer market, so really specialty beers.”