Mastering distribution is as important to a successful distiller as mastering distilling, packaging or advertising. In a heavily-regulated industry, this requires knowledge of the applicable laws and regulations.
This article, originally published in the Winter 2013 issue of Artisan Spirit,explores, albeit at a very general level, how to manage one important category of those laws; so-called “franchise” laws.
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.