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HomeBreakingWisconsin Wineries, Breweries Hopeful for Wisconsin Liquor Law Rewrite

Wisconsin Wineries, Breweries Hopeful for Wisconsin Liquor Law Rewrite


While opposition remains to Wisconsin’s planned liquor law rewrite from wedding barn owners, some breweries and wineries are celebrating the changes.

A Wisconsin Senate committee will hear testimony Thursday about the changes to Wisconsin’s three-tiered liquor law that would allow wineries and breweries to sell more directly to customers,

“For too long uncertainty surrounding the state’s alcohol laws has created a patchwork of regulation that is not only challenging for the industry but could also better serve consumers,” the coalition representing Wisconsin’s alcohol industry said in a statement.

The coalition includes the Wisconsin Brewers Guild and Wisconsin Wine and Spirits Institute, as well as Molson Coors, The Wisconsin Tavern League, and Kwik Trip.

The coalition says the rewrite “includes reforms that will streamline regulations, increase competition, and expand choices for consumers. And while stakeholders still hold differing perspectives on individual provisions contained in the bill, this negotiated package required all coalition members to find consensus and agree to finding a solution.”

A coalition spokesman told The Center Square eliminating extraneous or outdated regulations will only help people and small businesses in Wisconsin.

“These comprehensive reforms will streamline alcohol regulations in a way that benefits Wisconsin consumers by preventing monopolies and government overreach,” the spokesman said. “This legislation builds on Wisconsin’s legacy of promoting free market competition and makes further strides toward simplifying the three-tier system for all consumers.”

While the coalition supports the liquor law rewrite as a whole, there are some members who still have questions about every piece of the package, including rules requiring wedding barns to get the same liquor licenses as bars or banquet halls. That has been a goal of the Tavern League for years.

As previously reported by The Center Square, a number of free-market groups in Wisconsin said that portion of the rewrite threatens to put wedding barns out of business.

The liquor law rewrite has already passed the State Assembly. Thursday’s hearing is its first step in the Senate.

Ben Yount - The Center Square
The Center Square contributor

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