In news that’s not at all surprising, Anheuser-Busch has begun a heavy push against the so-called Stone Bill, writing a letter to state senators and urging them to strike down the amendment aimed at creating more jobs and expanding the state’s craft beer industry.
In a letter sent to South Carolina senators, Attorney Amanda K. Wuenscher of Columbia-based Mike Daniel & Associates argues a myriad of issues against the legislation, including that its passage “erodes the current three tier system for alcohol distribution,” would give an unfair advantage to small brewpubs and breweries and was written too hastily and flippantly to be taken seriously.
Wuenscher argues that allowing brewpubs to expand production up to 500,000 BBLs annually – and all the jobs created by that increase in production – would be unfair to the beer conglomerate. To hammer that home, she highlights the fact one A-B facility employs only 72 people and produces only 8.5 million BBLs a year. It’s pretty telling that a massive company such as A-B is scared by the mere thought of a competitor possibly making 5% of what one of many A-B facility makes in a year.
And in a true Orwellian twist, Wuenscher writes, “Anheuser-Busch is an advocate for beer period! The expansion of their industry is good for everyone.” If by “everyone” you mean A-B stockholders, then sure.
Contact the members of the conference committee as well as other senators and representatives. Tell them to side with job creation and not to give in to A-B’s fear mongering. The Create SC Beer Jobs website has been updated to include contact information for important legislators and you can find information about the upcoming conference committee here.