US. Craft brewers can still distribute under Ill. bill

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An Illinois bill would allow craft beer brewers to distribute their own beer, reversing a court ruling to stop that practice.

Only craft breweries could self-distribute through a special license. Larger companies from in-state and out-of-state, such as Illinois-based Pabst Blue Ribbon and St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, no longer have those rights.

Anheuser-Busch InBev filed a lawsuit last year saying out-of-state and in-state brewers face different standards for self-distribution in Illinois. A federal judge agreed and stripped all brewers of that right. But the judge delayed implementing that ruling to give the Legislature time to make adjustments to self-distribution rights.

The legislation passed both houses with little opposition. It now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn for review.

The bill is SB754.