Save The Craft: Anheuser-Busch InBev; The Response Is In

In Beer Politics by Ryan

We received word late yesterday that Anheuser-Busch InBev has formally responded to the Illinois Secretary of State’s inquiry in to the brewing giant’s wholly owned subsidiary, Wholesaler Equity Development Corporation – or WEDCO. WEDCO currently owns a 30% stake in the Chicago area and downstate distributor City Beverage. The state is now reviewing A-B InBev’s response and will issue an opinion in a matter of days.

If you are just joining us on this issue here’s a recap. It came out during a hearing before the Illinois Liquor Control Commission last month that WEDCO was not registered to do business in the state of Illinois. Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal because WEDCO does not have outright ownership of  a company – in this case a beer distributor. But, according to Illinois Liquor Control Commission spokesperson Sue Hofer, things are a bit different when you are talking about liquor. “The Liquor Control Act requires all owners and officers of a licensed corporation to qualify in the same way that the licensee corporation qualifies,” said Hofer.

If the Secretary of State’s Office finds WEDCO operated in Illinois without being registered, Anheuser-Busch InBev will face a number of fees, fines and late payments – with interest.

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Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.