Beer Marketer’s Insights has been walking this beer biz beat for a while now, leaving us with 40+ years of archived text. Sounds like a perfect opportunity to participate in Throwback Thursday (#tbt out here in the wilds of the web) to us. Expect to see us dive into our archives more often on Thursdays and share what we find right here.
For our first #tbt post, we looked at our flagship publication, Beer Marketer’s Insights from 20 years ago. 1993. In many ways, a very different beer industry. But disagreements between tiers over state franchise laws have been fairly constant, even if the individuals, specific issues and even some association names have changed.
Calif Bill Package in 94? Biggie Support? Now Calif Small Brewers Anti Franchise Law (published Nov 29, 1993)
In lively session at BAA meeting (Brewers Association of America), Roger Hanney, veep of Calif beer distribs assn, said all 7 bills in legislative package to shore up 3-tier system are "still alive and well," tho didn't pass this yr. "We believe we could get it (the package) through to the governor in 94," Roger added, but distribs "don't necessarily have wholehearted support of major brewers." Calif small brewers, staunch ally of beleaguered Calif beer distribs on this bill package, part ways with distribs on franchise law. Robert Judd, exec dir of Calif Small Brewers Assn (now 85-90 small brewers, including brewpubs) told BAA his members were "the 1st and only brewers to go out and support" Calif beer wholesalers legislative package. "We received the criticism of the major brewers" for that support, Bob added. But he warned that Calif small brewers "oppose the franchise bill as proposed." Don't like such fundamental provisions, like exclusive territories. Bob said his members view franchise bill as "in effect, a 'no-divorce' law." Roger responded: "You can't have it both ways," meaning that if small brewers are with wholesalers, must understand need for franchise law to preserve 3-tier system. "We can't sit back and do nothing or we won't have the system," Roger added.... A few days later, Wall St Jnl, in long, overly pessimistic article on beer wholesaling, quoted prexy of Calif Grocers Assn on 3-tier system: "It's an antiquated system. Eventually it must be changed.... The major brewers know they've got to change. It's happening today in all other products." Meanwhile, top AB brass including August III recently met with distribs in Calif and pledged continued support of 3-tier system.