The state House has passed a provision that would allow breweries to lease coolers to retailers to sell cold beer. Representative Robert Cornejo (R-St. Peters) added it to a bill that would allow a state wine board to oversee the marketing of wine.
“I can pull you headlines within the past year or year and a half from every single state of the craft beer industry booming,” said Cornejo. “This is great for sales. For everybody who wants to campaign and talk about freedom, this is it. This is economic freedom.”
Representative Dan Shaul (R-Imperial) says under the measure, one cooler per corporation per store would be allowed.
“This limits the ability of the big mega corporations that are the larger brewers, from flooding the market with coolers,” said Shaul.
Representative Keith English (R-Florissant) says the change would hurt Missouri’s small breweries.
“Yes, maybe some businesses in other states have increased small business, but the only reason we have this is to tap into the three-tier system that we’ve had for 80 plus years is so that the big business here in downtown St. Louis can get a little bit more of their market share. This is the only way they can do it,” said English. “I know a lot of people over here aren’t appreciating this, because they don’t want to make our friends that we work with every day that are on the outside of this hall, but I don’t give a care Mr. Speaker. The small businesses are the backbone.”
The bill heads back to the state Senate.