16 March 2018

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2018


Contact: Katherine Levasseur

Office of the Speaker of the House

(802) 828-2245


House Brewery Bill a Win for Vermont Small Businesses


The House today passed the Beer and Wine Franchise Bill, H.710 on a vote of 124-11.

“This bill is a win for Vermont’s small businesses. In the past few years local breweries, wineries, and distilleries have become an increasingly important part of Vermont’s economy,” said House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero). “The Vermont craft beer industry alone employs over 1,900 Vermonters, and contributes greatly to the economy. It boosts the agriculture sector, attracts tourists from around the world and provides significant employment opportunities to Vermonters. Supporting these businesses is key to ensuring Vermont retains a competitive tourism industry and remains attractive to entrepreneurs, workers, and families.”

“Vermont craft breweries are the quintessential example of small businesses in the state,” said Representative Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe), a sponsor of the bill.  “Current law gives a special advantage to the distributors at the expense of these small brewers. This bill will ensure free and fair competition in the craft beer market, allowing businesses to grow and increasing the choices for consumers.”

“It’s time to act and respond to the changing industry of alcoholic beverages,” said Representative Helen Head (D-South Burlington), chair of the House Committee on General, Housing & Military Affairs. “When they were established, the current franchise laws were essential to equalize bargaining power between wholesale distributors and large national breweries. Our brewers and distributors now need changes in the law and more tools to foster balanced growth in a shifting industry landscape.”



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