Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another Bill to Watch in California

Assembly bill 2294 is raising some eyebrows for those close to the adult beverage industry. According to the California Small Brewers Association website,
This bill would grossly erode the current tied house laws by allowing suppliers to “furnish, give, lend or rent video display devices” and provide advertising on those devices. This means that a beer supplier could furnish a plasma screen TV and advertise on the programming of that TV. Traditionally, suppliers have not been allowed to provide anything of value to a retailer. This provides assurance that there are no inducements for a retailer to carry any particular brand.
You can guess what companies can afford such lavish gifts for retailers, it isn't your local craft brewer.

There's one other issue they list on their site, regarding a ruling for the California Board of Equalization. This issue was well covered by Jay and can be found on a few online forums.
A recent ruling by the Board of Equalization that will reclassify as ‘distilled spirits’ any beer that has 0.5% added alcohol derived from flavorings. This ruling it slated to take effect October 1st, 2008. It will require every brewer in California to file a form with the BOE stating that each product produced does or does not contain over 0.5% added alcohol. This ruling may reclassify some craft beer as “distilled spirits” for tax purposes, dramatically increasing the cost of that brand to the consumer. For more information call the CSBA office.
Things to keep apprised of if you're a resident of California. If you have any concerns on either of these, you may want to call your state representative. That said, if I understand right, that BOE issue may be out of their realm, but they should still know how you feel and what your concerns are.