Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Anheuser-Busch May Get Kicked Out of Kentucky

Posted By on Mon, Mar 9, 2015 at 12:30 PM

A-B may be forced to get out of Kentucky. | Courtesy Anheuser-Busch
  • A-B may be forced to get out of Kentucky. | Courtesy Anheuser-Busch

If all goes according to plan, Anheuser-Busch InBev will soon lose its large presence in Kentucky after a lengthy legal battle. The state senate passed a bill last week that would prevent businesses from owning more than one kind of malt beverage license -- meaning you couldn't have both a brewer's license and a distributor's license.

See also: Anheuser-Busch Resurrects Faust, the 130-Year-Old Beer Named for a St. Louis Legend

Smaller brewers are getting behind the bill, which they see as a way to product the growing craft beer industry in Kentucky. A-B currently owns a distributorship in Louisville and bought one in Owensboro last year -- a move that so riled up local brewers, the company had to get a court order to grant it rights to the wholesale distribution license.

Anheuser-Busch is obviously not happy with the vote, which governor Steve Beshear could veto. "This has been an appalling exercise and nothing short of a full-scale attack on a good corporate citizen who has followed every rule and invested heavily in the commonwealth of Kentucky for decades," Damon Williams, A-B's director of sales and marketing Louisville, said in a statement. "This legislation violates our rights under the U.S. and Kentucky constitutions, discriminates against our company by providing economic protections for in-state special interests, and represents nothing short of a taking of our property."

The bill, if passed, could hurt smaller businesses as well -- Cincinnati brewer Bob Bonder testified that he would have to close the Kentucky distribution business he recently started to give his own beer and others a wider audience.

"We want to make sure that the environment in the state stays competitive and that all brewers regardless of size or location are set on an even playing field with regards to their distribution," said John King, executive director of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers.

If Governor Beshear approves the bill, Anheuser-Busch would be forced to sell its two distributorships, which employ about 190 people.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at

Follow Nancy Stiles on Twitter:

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2022 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation