Some call it the “beer glass bill.” I wonder if it shouldn’t be called the “beer glasses for beer taps” bill.
Here’s the skinny: Lawmakers are moving legislation to allow beer distributors to give away glasses from brewers imprinted with product names and logos to bars and restaurants. Now, they have to be sold.
Those in favor, including small businesses, say it’ll be a help to them to cut down on glasses lost from theft and breakage.
But opponents, including many craft brewers, are concerned that they won’t be able to afford to keep up with the stream of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s free glasses.
They “effectively act as passive advertisements for a particular label,” as Jim Rosica, our man in Tallahassee, recently reported.
Now for a pesky detail. Amended into the House bill (HB 853) is this little provision:
“A vendor may only use such glassware to serve the corresponding malt beverage brand advertised on the glassware to consumers located on its licensed premises.”
To my ears, that equates to trading taps for glassware.
Anheuser-Busch had been pushing this as “a brewer-agnostic bill.”
The Senate version (SB 1040) has only one more committee to clear before it can be heard on the floor. It doesn’t have the “corresponding malt beverage” language.
The House bill is up Wednesday in the Commerce Committee, its last stop before the floor.