A bar fight is brewing between the local craft beer producers and the big multi-national Anheuser-Busch Budweiser boys who recently acquired 10 Barrel Brewing at 9th and Bannock in Boise.
Idaho Beer and Wine Distributors Association, which represents 18 distributors that employ 900 people says Idaho law grants special rights to small breweries – which include every Idaho-based brewery – but not to large ones such as Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light.
The outcome should be interesting because the 10 Barrel building is owned by the Idaho Land Board and it leases tax-exempt space to the craft brewer. The board spent several hundred thousand dollars doing “tenant improvements” for the brewer in exchange for a 15 year lease.
If the Alcohol Beverage Control boys –read that “Idaho State Police”– decide 10 Barrel is acting illegally under the new ownership, it could put the Land Board lease in jeopardy. We expect the poor folks at the Attorney General’s office will be forced to advise both the State Police and the Land Board.
We’d bet a beer the ultimate ruling will favor the big Belgian-Brazilian beer brewer over the locals.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.