“Beer Cooler” bill goes to the governor

Missouri Representatives Thursday sent legislation to Governor Nixon’s desk that will allow craft beer brewers to sell so-called growlers of their products in retail stores, while also allowing beer brewers to place coolers with their advertising on them in those same stores.

Senate Bill 919, sponsored by State Senator Eric Schmitt , was the focus of strong debate for the second session in a row. The bill finally passed the House on a 94-59 vote in the House.

Critics said allowing brewers to place coolers with their advertising logos on them would favor large brewers over small. But supporters said in the world of retail sales, those coolers would contain whatever beer or other liquor sold cold that is selling well.

Craft brewers supported the “growlers” section of the bill. It would allow businesses with liquor licenses to sell 32 to 128 ounce containers of draft beer that can be taken off the premises.

The bill, which passed the Senate earlier in the session 18-14, is now on its way to the governor for his signature.