Looks like the Oregon based brew pub set to go into a state-owned Boise commercial building has been cut off, at least temporarily. BOISE WEEKLY‘s Andrew Crisp has a good explanation.
The short version is existing state laws preclude brewers from owning retail outlets that import beer from other states and also selling retail. The so-called three tier system is aimed at preventing a brewer from dominating the market.
The law is a major obstacle for 10 Barrels Brewing which has already signed a 15 year lease with the Idaho Department of Lands on a building at 803 Bannock. The deal to lease the tax-free public building was done without bids. The state of Idaho’s department of lands sees the deal as a money maker for the public school endowment fund, but some folks question the wisdom or legality of the state going into the private business sector–in this case as landlord. The State has already begun “tenant improvements” on the property, incurring a major expense that officials claim will be recouped in future rental income.
For now the deal is a loser any way you cut it, but if the legislature agrees to amend the Idaho Code, the currently planned illegal arrangement could become legal. It will be 2013 before any changes can be made.
Another awkward consideration is the lease was likely approved by a deputy Attorney General assigned to the Land Board while another deputy AG represents the Alcohol Beverage Control division of the State Police which has pointed out the conflict with the Idaho Code.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.