Thursday’s Illinois Liquor Control Commission hearing came and went without a decision on the fate of Illinois distributor City Beverage.
On October 1st and 2nd the Commission met both publicly and privately to discuss the citation against City Beverage for allegedly violating the Illinois Liquor Control Act. Those watching the case were hoping for an announcement, and subsequent vote, on October 11th but that never came to fruition. According to an Illinois Liquor Control Commission spokesperson commissioners have not set a deadline to publicly announce their decision.
The commission’s next meeting is October 31st in Chicago.
The October hearing on the issue brought to a head a years long battle over whether Anheuser-Busch and its wholly owned subsidiary Wholesaler Equity Development Corporation (WEDCO) could hold a minority interest in City Beverage.
There are four City Beverage wholesalers in the state. Three are in the Chicago area; Arlington Heights, Chicago and Markham with a fourth, in Bloomington, which is located in central Illinois.
At issue is whether a law passed in 2011, the “Craft Brewer Act” prohibits a brewer from owning a distributor.
Legal Counsel for the Commission says that it does and, subsequently, Anhueser-Busch and WEDCO should divest its 30-percent interest in City Beverage. AB, meanwhile, contends that was not the intent of the Act when it was passed and that they have every right to retain a minority interest in City Beverage.