A group of Kentucky beer brewers have joined together to give themselves a louder voice in state matters. The Kentucky Guild of Brewers is made up of nine local breweries from Louisville, Lexington and Danville. In a statement, the guild says its purpose is in part "to act as a singular voice and advocate for the Kentucky brewing industry in all pertinent matters of legislation and governmental administration."
“With the prevalence of bourbon in our state, [lawmakers] kind of leave those guys alone. Winemaking is not that big in the state, so where they can generate revenue besides taxing cigarettes is beer. But obviously we're way too young to fight some kind of battle like that," says guild president Phillip Dearner, who also works with the Bluegrass Brewing Company in Louisville.
“The [issues] we're focusing on now are just day to day business. How we can market ourselves easier," he adds.
In a Venn Diagram of state regulations, microbreweries would sit in the overlap between small businesses, alcohol retailers, restaurants and manufacturers. Dearner declined to go into specifics about what the group will lobby for, but he says a legislative agenda may be developed by fall.
The guild's founding members are:
- Bluegrass Brewing Co
- Against the Grain
- Cumberland Brewing
- Kentucky Ale
- Country Boy Brewing
- West 6th
- Beer Engine
- Lore Brewing
- Apocalypse Brew Works
Three more breweries may join the guild in the coming months.