As a result of the 2011 “Craft Brewer” bill (S.B. 754/P-A 97-0005) two small breweries in Illinois were able to keep their rights to self-distribution … and now a dozen or more new breweries have opened and are using the self-distribution opportunity to good economic effect.
An unintended consequence of the “Craft Brewer” bill was language that forces a brewpub owner to secure a craft brewer license if they wish to open a production brewery. As mentioned the craft brewer license is there to help new breweries get started and to have market access through limited self-distribution and it has worked well for that purpose. But what it threatens to do, what it was not intended to do, and what must be corrected, is to limit the size of a brewery which can be owned and operated by a brewpub. Our proposals include:
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