Nuclear Option

A new weapon is unveiled to end the beer battle

How long the Lohr brothers plan to operate without union drivers this time around is anyone's guess, but Teamster Local 600 president Dan McKay says Ron Lohr showed no signs of backing down during a meeting the two held early last week.

Reporting on his summit with Lohr, McKay yelled through a bullhorn at his fellow Teamsters assembled at the rally: "Ron Lohr can kiss my Teamster ass!"

The Teamsters say they're now prepared to take the strike beyond a mere war of words. Last week Retailers for Justice, a group sympathetic to the Teamsters, began a petition drive aimed at repealing the state's Territorial Rights Law, which requires retailers to purchase beer only from the designated wholesaler within their region.

Retailers for Justice will need 136,000 signatures to place the issue on the November ballot. While they admit it's a long shot, they say it's the only way the bill could survive the ax from the powerful Anheuser-Busch lobby in Jefferson City.

David Carter at KC's Bar and Grill says he'll sign if it will allow him the chance to buy his A-B beer from anyone but Lohr. "If I could get Budweiser from anyone else," says Carter, "I'd start serving the beer in a heartbeat."

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