Decision On City Beverage Case Could Come As Soon As Today…

In Beer News by RyanLeave a Comment

Or a decision may not be rendered until the Commission’s next regular meeting on October 11th in Springfield.

The Commission went into executive session today to mull over Monday’s testimony, according to an ILCC spokesperson. Once they reach a decision it will have to be ratified at a public hearing later this month.

According to a source at yesterday’s hearing much of the debate centered on this particular statute within the Illinois Liquor Control Act:

Sec. 6-4. (a) No person licensed by any licensing authority as a distiller, or a wine manufacturer, or any subsidiary or affiliate thereof, or any officer, associate, member, partner, representative, employee, agent or shareholder owning more than 5% of the outstanding shares of such person shall be issued an importing distributor's or distributor's license, nor shall any person licensed by any licensing authority as an importing distributor, distributor or retailer, or any subsidiary or affiliate thereof, or any officer or associate, member, partner, representative, employee, agent or shareholder owning more than 5% of the outstanding shares of such person be issued a distiller's license or a wine manufacturer's license; and no person or persons licensed as a distiller by any licensing authority shall have any interest, directly or indirectly, with such distributor or importing distributor. 
However, an importing distributor or distributor, which on January 1, 1985 is owned by a brewer, or any subsidiary or affiliate thereof or any officer, associate, member, partner, representative, employee, agent or shareholder owning more than 5% of the outstanding shares of the importing distributor or distributor referred to in this paragraph, may own or acquire an ownership interest of more than 5% of the outstanding shares of a wine manufacturer and be issued a wine manufacturer's license by any licensing authority. 
(b) The foregoing provisions shall not apply to any person licensed by any licensing authority as a distiller or wine manufacturer, or to any subsidiary or affiliate of any distiller or wine manufacturer who shall have been heretofore licensed by the State Commission as either an importing distributor or distributor during the annual licensing period expiring June 30, 1947, and shall actually have made sales regularly to retailers.

Apparently Anhueser-Busch thinks it may have found a loophole in the above statute that allows them to retain their minority interest in distributor City Beverage – and even go after 100-percent ownership. Legal Counsel for the Liquor Control Commission argued the opposite.

Over the summer, the ILCC legal division cited Anheuser-Busch and its wholly owned subsidiary Wholesaler Equity Development Corporation, or WEDCO, for violating the Illinois Liquor Control Act by holding an interest in an Illinois distributor. The legal division says that is against the law in Illinois after the passage of the “Craft Brewer Act” last year. The citation calls on AB and WEDCO to divest its 30-percent stake in City Beverage, which consists of four distributors in Illinois.

About the Author
Ryan

Ryan

With over fifteen years of news experience under his belt, Ryan spearheads The Guys in-depth coverage of beer news and craft beer legislation in Illinois and neighboring states. When he’s not digging through the annals of state government he’s looking for unique beers to cellar.

RyanDecision On City Beverage Case Could Come As Soon As Today…

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