Legislative Testimony: LB1236, Change provisions relating to craft brewery licensees under the Nebraska Liquor Control Act
Chairman Briese and members of the General Affairs Committee, my name is Laura Ebke, and I’m the Senior Fellow at the Platte Institute, here today to testify in support of LB1236.
We’ve talked a lot in the last decade about “growing Nebraska.” We’ve claimed to be good for small businesses and entrepreneurs. But sometimes, the policies we have in place don’t speak well of those claims.
LB1236 is a small step in the right direction of giving entrepreneurial craft brewers the opportunity to build their business without additional licensing or entering into agreements that might not be beneficial given their circumstances.
This bill would allow craft brewers to self-distribute a limited amount of their product in the retail market—under their existing license—without respect to their total annual production, including that served in tasting rooms.
We know that there is a workforce shortage in Nebraska, and at a time when the major distributors may not have the personnel to focus on the “little guy,” LB1236 offers a “win” for small producers who want to distribute to the retail market, retailers who would like to offer more Nebraska-based product, and consumers who would like easier access to the product of small craft breweries in our state.
We encourage the advancement and prioritization of LB1236.