• WisPolitics


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

 8:36 PM 

Changes to beer wholesale requirements approved

GOP Sen. Glenn Grothman and Dem Sen. Bob Jauch were the only two members to vote against a motion that makes changes regarding the wholesale distribution of beer.

Among other things, the motion regarding three-tiered beer laws gives licensing authority over wholesalers for the sale of beer from premises to the state Department of Revenue. Currently, municipalities can issue the permits.

Under the motion, people holding unexpired municipal wholesaler's licenses prior to Jan. 1 must be treated as wholesalers holding valid licenses until Jan. 1, 2013, whereupon all municipal licenses will be voided.

The motion deletes a current provision that prohibits the consumption of beer on a wholesaler's premises.

The motion specifies that a wholesaler's permit may not be issued to a person who holds a brewers permit. It also eliminates a grandfather provision that allows a person to hold a wholesaler's license, a retail beer permit or license, an industrial beer permit, or a brewpub permit.

It also eliminates a provision that allows a brewer to hold a wholesaler's license and a Class "B" license for on- or off-premises sales of beer.

While a wholesaler is prohibited from holding a retail license, a wholesaler is allowed to sell or give beer to its employees under the motion.

Any wholesaler issued a retail license prior to Jan. 1, 2011 may continue to sell the beer at retails as permitted under the retail license.

The motion eliminates the current fee for a municipal wholesaler's license, but instead requires DOR to determine a beer wholesaler's permit fee in an amount sufficient to fund one special agent position dedicated to alcohol and tobacco enforcement in an amount not to exceed $2,500 per year.

The motion also specifies that a wholesaler may not hold an ownership interest in any brewer unless that interest was established prior to the effective date of the bill.

-- By Greg Bump


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