A bill under consideration in the Unicameral could put a cap on craft brewing in Nebraska. The bill would require that small craft brewers have a brewery in every tap room they open within the community or state. Tony Thomas is the co-owner of the Farnam House Brewery in Omaha and he says investing money in another brewing system is cost prohibitive because you already have a setup at another location.
Thomas says their other option would be to sell their product to a major distributor and then buy their own beer back at an inflated price. He says, “Distributors already have an extremely large network and that’s, I think part of the reasoning behind it because they want to keep the big piece of the pie while craft beers are just a few percent in the state.”
Thomas says there is another spin on this as well. He says craft breweries are doing well within the state and creating jobs. He says, “I’m going to give an example. Zipline Brewing had planned another location in north Omaha which they had 25 new jobs lined up for that new location. Such incidences are not going to happen anymore if this bill passes.” Zipline Brewing is located in Lincoln. Thomas says this bill could basically put an end to Nebraska’s growing craft beer business.
Supporters claim it would level the playing field for everyone.