Actions During the COVID Crisis

The Guild has provided resources and information during the darkest days of the pandemic and continues to fight on behalf of Arizona breweries.

  • During COVID, the Guild shifted to assist breweries in obtaining vital information about insurance, employment issues, federal and local assistance programs, and safety guidance. Zoom class and seminars were set up almost daily for close to 3 weeks.
  • Among the states that had mandated shutdowns, Arizona breweries were designated essential workers first and had the ability to be open more days than other license holders. The Guild positioned breweries to have the rights as restaurants without the restrictions of bars.
  • The Guild team has consistently provided guidance quickly after state, county, and city regulations were announced.
  • The Guild continues to work with policymakers and other agencies and organizations to provide breweries with the tools and information to survive this crisis.
  • The business saving emergency measures to keep small brewery businesses going are the direct result of the hard work of the Guild and its relationships with stakeholders and policymakers.
  • The Guild negotiated the Pima County COVID regulations in partnership with the Arizona Restaurant Association. The initially overly restrictive measures were brought back to reality and ended up being the state’s guidance.

Legislative Challenges

As the 2021 legislative session begins, the Guild expects to see a major bill from the wine industry, a bill to allow restaurants to have to-go cocktails, and requests to have many of these business saving measures eliminated. The Guild’s government affairs committee will fight to preserve our rights and make sure that favorable policies remain in place.

  • The Guild is pushing bill language updating the definition of beer to reflect the more lenient federal definition. We are asking that the restriction on drive-thru sales of growlers be lifted.
  • We are asking to fast track and retroactively apply last year’s alternating proprietorship bill (AP) to provide rights that the federal government recognizes and the state already does for wineries. AP will allow businesses to partner and share resources much more effectively. It will also remove redtape from breweries that have distilleries.
  • In partnership with several organizations, the Guild is pushing to create a temporary off-sale license that follows the rules and regulations of a series 15 license for off-site only consumption. This would create parity with the series 16 license that spirits and wineries use.
  • As omnibus stakeholders, the Guild is leading the push toward fast-tracking last year’s omnibus bill. That bill contained provisions to move sampling size from 12 ounces to 16 to reflect a typical draft beer pour. It also allowed supplier and distributor staff to quality control samples at festivals.
  • The Guild continues to fight for permanent federal excise tax relief and is on track to get 8 of 9 Representatives and both Senators on board as co-sponsors.

54th Legislative Session Initiatives

2020 Fifty Fourth Legislature Second Regular Session

The 54th Legislative Session was canceled due to COVID. As part of the 2021 55th Session, the Guild is working with industry stakeholders to fast-track and retroactively apply last session’s omnibus bill.
The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild supports the omnibus process in arriving at fair and equitable liquor policy. This year, the Guild strongly supports HB 2739 sponsored by Rep Jeff Weninger LD 17.

HB 2739 key components:

  • Directing the DLLC to relieve a reverted retail license within two years if not reissued
  •  Allowing a microbrewery and farm winery license to be held jointly by a bona fide educational institution for postsecondary instruction
  • Increasing the production limit on a craft distillery to 3,566 gallons per calendar year
  • Clarifying (at the DLLC’s request) that an “adult”, who can lawfully bring a minor into a licensed premise, includes a spouse, parent, grandparent or guardian of legal age
  • Providing that the duty of a licensee to protect the safety of customers or other persons does not extend to a person who enters or remains on the premises to disrupt or damage the premises or to cause harm to another person on the premises
  • Exempting commercially produced alcoholic beverages from the environmental health laws under Title 36
  • Extending the current exemptions from Title 4 for homebrewers to home winemakers
  • Increasing the sample size for producer or wholesaler-provided beer samples from12 to 16 ounces
  • Clarifying that craft distillers are an exception to the primary source of supply law
  • Providing that a producer or wholesaler representative at a special event may consume small amounts of products, but only for the purpose of quality control
  • Specifying that for bottle service, if a customer removes or tampers with a locking device and pours a drink, there is no violation if the licensee takes immediate corrective action as specified
The Guild strongly supports HB 2397 sponsored by Rep Jeff Weninger LD 17 which allows alcohol producers or microbreweries to take advantage of the Federally recognized practice of alternating proprietorship (AP).

An “alternating proprietorship” is a term used to describe an arrangement in which two or more people take turns using the physical premises of a brewery.

Generally, the proprietor of an existing brewery, the “host brewery,” agrees to rent space and equipment to a new “tenant brewer.” AP allow existing breweries to use excess capacity and give new entrants to the beer business an opportunity to begin on a small scale, without investing in premises and equipment.

Current AZ statute recognises AP for wineries only. This bill would extend this right to alcohol producers and breweries. The Guild would also like to extend this provision to the state’s growing micro-distilleries as well.

More information on AP can be found at the TTB website.



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