Anheuser-Busch InBev North America President Luiz Edmond wrote a strongly worded letter Monday to Ohio lawmakers protesting the passage of Senate Bill 48, which bars large brewers from owning wholesale distributors in the state.
"I write to make a formal protest of the recently passed Sub. S.B. 48 as it applies to brewery ownership of wholesale distributors in Ohio, and to respectfully request that you move immediately to reverse this unnecessary intrusion into the contractual relationship between Anheuser-Busch and its business partner wholesalers," he wrote.
Edmond notes that Anheuser-Busch employs more than 700 Ohioans and pays $32 million in Ohio income and excise taxes. He also references the fact that the wholesale distributor language was inserted in the bill at the last minute and voted upon "totally without public notice or input, or the opportunity for my company and others to comment, legislation which reverses 30 years of established law in Ohio."
Anheuser-Busch leaders are meeting with Gov. John Kasich and state lawmakers today over the bill, which also includes a provision that would lower the annual licensing fee for craft brewers from $3,906 to $1,000. Kasich has yet to sign or veto the measure.
To read the full letter, click here.