The One Beer Article You Need To Read And Why, is a cheat. It is a quick way for me to come up with a topic to write about daily without having to do too much brainstorming. So, when I can’t find an article I want to write about, it makes it kind of hard.
Anyway, here is an article about…wait for it…the NC distribution cap fight. At least this one finally puts a number on all the money the N.C. Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association and individual distributors have given to NC legislators. The total is almost $1.5 million. That should explain all you need to know as to why progress has been slow.
I’ve been following this story since it started gaining steam 3 years ago, and I’m tired of talking about it. However, I think the distributors are more afraid of the big beer companies pulling out of their contracts and distributing themselves. That is a more realistic fear than the one of all these small brewers distributing their own wares. It isn’t that much more realistic, but more realistic.
I just get tired of political fights whose conclusion is inevitable. If the Supreme Court hadn’t stepped in, we would still be in a 40-year battle to finally get to marriage equality. This is a much smaller and less important issue, but the conclusion is inevitable. The politicians want to vote to raise the cap, but they get a lot of money from its opponents. Eventually, the politician’s beliefs will win out and they will vote to raise the cap. Wholesalers should spend less time worrying about how to stop the cap and more time trying to build good relationships with brewers.
Last thing, the distributors who treat brewers as if they are doing them a favor by distributing their beer are the ones who should worry. I think the biggest change raising the cap will initiate is making distribution contracts fairer and forcing some distributors to treat brewers more as partners.