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Majority Leader Aguiar-Curry Bill to Support California's Locally-Owned Craft Breweries Passed the Assembly Floor with Bi-Partisan Support

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) announced that Assembly Bill 2174 passed the Assembly Floor with a resounding 71-9 bi-partisan vote. AB 2174 would allow the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to conditionally permit and authorize, with limitations, a licensed beer manufacturer to sell their own beer for consumption at limited special community events.

Current law prohibits licensed beer manufacturers from selling their own beer for consumer consumption at any location other than their licensed premise. This prohibition harms California’s 1,100 craft brewers by preventing them from full participation in local civic opportunities like street fairs, private parties, and other events.

“California’s craft breweries provide jobs and enrich the culture of our local communities with their specialized beer.  Most of them are disadvantaged in the market place, lacking access to the distribution networks and retail shelf-space available to larger companies,” said Assembly Majority Leader Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters).  “AB 2174 would provide locally-owned breweries an opportunity to participate, like other small businesses, in their local communities, and in return allow communities to support their local brewery.  Not only does this allow craft brewers to be good civic neighbors, it allows them an opportunity to build awareness of their products and a sustainable business for the future.”

Under existing law, many local breweries have had to turn down invitations from their local governments, civic and charitable organizations, and Chambers of Commerce to sell beer to guests at special events. These community events represent invaluable revenue and marketing opportunities, and the prohibition prevents a chance to generate positive consumer impressions of their brand. Craft breweries are important job providers and charitable contributors. Their continued vitality in a hyper-competitive industry relies heavily upon consumer brand recognition and sales.

What Supporters are saying about AB 2174:

“Assembly Bill 2174 will create new opportunities for craft brewers to showcase their products at public and private events across the state. Under the proposed bill, craft brewers can participate in these events by obtaining a beer caterer's permit that is authorized by the ABC,” said Lori Nicolini Miller, Co-founder of Berryessa Brewing Co. “This permit will provide an excellent platform for craft brewers to increase their brand awareness and build loyalty in the communities they serve. We fully support the Majority Leader's proposal for a beer caterer's permit because it is a practical solution that will help craft brewers sustain their small businesses and the local jobs they create.”

“California Craft Beer Consumers enjoy various events throughout the state, including street fairs, local festivals, and other community events. However, current law prevents craft brewers from serving our beer at such events, which is a missed opportunity for small businesses and consumers,” said Erle Mankin, Co-Owner of Jackrabbit Brewing Co. “Assembly Bill 2174 aims to change this by allowing craft brewers to apply and pay for a beer caterer's permit, which will enable us to serve our beer in safe environments approved by local law enforcement. This will substantially benefit small businesses, as well as organizers and attendees who can enjoy a wider range of offerings at these events.”

“The craft beer industry has thrived in California over the last decade because our brewers have demonstrated to lawmakers their value as small businesses and creators in each of their own local communities. Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry authored AB 2174 to foster more opportunities for craft brewers to shine in their communities by serving their great craft beer at safe public and private events,” said Lori Ajax, Executive Director of the California Craft Brewers Association. “The CCBA is thrilled that brewers may soon be able to apply for and purchase a beer caterer’s permit to promote their brands at new events.”

AB 2174 now heads to the Senate.

Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake, Colusa, Napa, and Yolo Counties, and part of Sonoma County.