UPDATE (4/27/07): Here's an email I just received from Support Your Local Brewery, the Brewer's Association advocacy group:
April 26, 2007
Dear Mr. Gray:I received your e-mail regarding your concerns with a provision in House Bill 119 that may be harmful to small brewers. I appreciate your willingness to share your views with me.
My colleagues and I have and continue to evaluate House Bill 119 – the state operating budget. Please know that the provision you reference in your e-mail is currently not included in this measure.
Again, thank you for sharing your concerns. Be sure that if issues affecting small brewers arise in the future, I will be mindful of your situation and thoughts. If I can be of further assistance, please contact my office.
Jon A. Husted
Ohio House of Representatives
Dear Beer Activists:
Victory in Ohio Thanks to Support Your Local Brewery Members!
On April 19, Support Your Local Brewery was alerted to a potentially devastating piece of legislation on the fast track in the Ohio House of Representatives. A bill dealing with issues relating to the direct shipment of wine was amended to include language that would have essentially stripped self distribution and direct to consumer sales by breweries and brewpubs.
With a floor vote scheduled in less than 24 hours, Ohio members of the Support Your Local Brewery network were alerted and generated dozens of grassroots contacts to legislators’ offices.
By April 20, the offending provision had been pulled from the bill. Your efforts, coupled with the outreach carried on by many Ohio small brewers, turned this threat back, one which would have almost certainly hamstrung many breweries and potentially closed many brewpubs.
Thanks to all those who answered the call, acted in the best traditions of Support Your Local Brewery Beer Activists and helped to ensure the continued success of the Buckeye State’s small brewing community.