Anheuser-Busch to transfer Louisville beer distributorship to St - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Anheuser-Busch to transfer Louisville beer distributorship to Standard Sales

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Anheuser-Busch’s beer distributorships in Louisville and Owensboro will be transferred to Standard Sales Co. of Odessa, Texas, according to a news release.

Anheuser-Busch will acquire three Standard Sales distributorships in Colorado as part of the deal.

The global beer giant was forced to divest itself of the Kentucky distributorships after the General Assembly earlier this year passed a bill, championed by House Speaker Greg Stumbo, which revoked distributor licenses for big beer producers like Anheuser-Busch.

Kentucky has a “three-tier” system in which beer producers must sell to distributors, who in turn sell to retailers and bars. Craft brewers had argued that it was unfair for a big beer producer like Anheuser-Busch to also be a distributor.

"After a significant evaluation of options, we agreed to exchange territory with Standard Sales as the best path forward for our employees and operations in Kentucky, where we can no longer own a distributorship," Anheuser-Busch’s Bob Tallett said in a statement.

Anheuser-Busch has owned the Louisville distributorship on Produce Road since 1978.

John Stovall, president of Teamsters Local 783, which represents about 80 employees at the facility, said Tuesday that Standard Sales will have to honor the 5-year contract the union signed this year with Anheuser-Busch.

But in the long run, Stovall said it’s uncertain what type of employer Standard Sales will be. A union database shows none of the company’s other facilities have organized workforces, he said.

“That’s got us concerned,” he said.

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