Dispute Between Nebraska Breweries and Distributors May Be Near an End

Imagine owning a craft brewery in Norfolk with a tasting room right across the street. Now imagine before you can send your product to the taste room, a third party distributor has to take the beer to Omaha, before bringing it back to your taste room.

That is what Nebraska breweries have had to do for years.

However, a newly proposed law would allow breweries to cut the unnecessary step of sending their product through a distributor only to have it shipped back to a location that the brewery owns.

Divots Brewmaster, Jeremy Kirby, see’s this legislation as the logical thing to do.

“It makes sense there’s no reason for a middle man to be involved,” Kirby said. “Since the tax is still the same as an over the bar product. It’s less hassle, less paperwork, it just streamlines the process.”

While the law may not impact Divots, due to the fact that they only have one location,  Kirby does see the positive effects for other breweries across Nebraska. 

“The major thing to note here is that it’s between breweries of the same ownership,” he said.

“We are only a single site brewery. Now people like Empyrean and Kinkaider have several outlets throughout the state, so they will run beer directly so it does effect them in a big way. I think it enables the brewery to grow faster. It can reinvest in equipment and employee people. It is good overall.”

According to Kirby, the customers will also see benefits if this law passes.

“By being able to move beer from one brewery we can save on shipping costs. (So) a pint might be a little cheaper.”

Overall, Kirby believes that if the law passes, it would be a good for everyone.

“It is a change in the industry, but through open communication I think we were able to come to a resolution that everyone could agree upon.”