A bill making its way through the California Senate is being opposed by trade organizations such as the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) and the San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG).
The bill, SB-1426, would essentially legalize compensation to retailers for alcoholic beverage promotion and marketing activities. Tom McCormick, executive director of the CCBA, sent this statement to West Coaster: “As it is written, SB-1426 raises obvious concerns about the creation of payola in the marketplace, essentially allowing manufacturers to legally engage in pay-to-play practices for the first time since the Prohibition. This would be devastating to the craft brewing industry and would dramatically reduce the variety of craft beers on the shelf that consumers now enjoy.”
McCormick continued, saying “the CCBA is opposed to this legislation as it is currently written, however, we have suggested amendments to the bill that would solve the issue for DIAGEO’s celebrity spokesperson without opening the door to additional erosion of tied-house laws in California. These amendments have not been accepted so we remain strongly opposed to this bill.”
Mike Sardina, SDBG President, furthered by saying that “per the directive of the CCBA, members of the San Diego Brewers Guild are in active opposition to SB-1426.” He added that citizens can “call your Assembly Member and let them know that you are an enthusiast of craft beer and the breweries in San Diego, and that if passed, SB-1426 will be very bad for craft breweries in the county.”
San Diego’s Councilmember Chris Cate, of the city’s sixth district, was originally contacted by 32 North Brewing about the bill and has sent his letter of opposition to Adam C. Gray, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization, where the bill currently sits and is being heard soon. His letter is posted above.
Senator Joel Anderson of California’s 38th District, which includes large portions of eastern San Diego County, voted in opposition to the bill on the Senate floor on June 1.