Lee, David, and I had a productive meeting yesterday with Pat Lynch, Michael Schilleci, and Harry Kampakis, representing Birmingham Budweiser, Supreme Beverage, and Birmingham Beverage, respectively. It would not be appropriate for me to publicly divulge many of the details discussed at the meeting, but I will say what I can.
Most importantly, Birmingham Budweiser is not staunchly opposed to our entire campaign. They have some legitimate business concerns, but Pat has agreed to do some further research on the impact these changes will have on his business, and FTH has agreed to do some further research as well. Ultimately, our position is that 46 other states do not have the 6% limit and NO other state has the 16 ounce limit, and all the beer wholesalers (including the A-B guys) are doing fine in those states. We see no legitimate reason why Alabama cannot join their ranks, and we’re confident all the wholesalers will continue to do well once we have. But we’ll do our best to find a solution that benefits everyone involved.
The biggest piece of news to announce in the wake of that meeting is that Pat has agreed to put us on the agenda for the December 7th meeting of the Alabama Beer Wholesalers. We will be allowed to present our case for how Free The Hops can benefit all the state’s wholesalers, after which they will each cast their vote on whether to support or oppose our campaign.
I’m optimistic that we can make a very persuasive argument, especially in light of some developments that will be made official prior to that December meeting. More to come…