Facebook and similar types of social media have become increasingly popular as a promotional tool for craft brewers. Ease of setup, simplified maintenance, the lure of almost immediate exposure to the general public and the ability to reach targeted audiences all make social media extremely attractive. Craft brewers use social media to introduce new products, generate interest or attendance at an event or solicit feedback on proposed new beers, among many other uses. Brewers should bear in mind, however, that social media is not without regulation.
Most people working for a U.S. packaging brewery are aware of so-called beer “franchise” laws. Such legislation—enacted in some form in most U.S. states—limits or restricts the ability of a brewer to change distributors. The author leaves for another article any discussion of the fairness and logic of such enactments. For now, this article explores some important basics about these laws and how they impact the brewer-distributor relationship.