Missouri lawmakers pass contested bill on beer coolers
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Beer-makers could lease coolers to stores to keep brews frosty under a contested measure passed by Missouri lawmakers.
House members voted 94-59 Thursday to send the bill to Gov. Jay Nixon.
Backers say the legislation would help consumers, the beer industry and stores because it could mean more refrigerators to store cold beer for sale.
But it's met pushback from craft brewers who say it will give an advantage to larger breweries, such as St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch. It's been called a "monopolizing" bill.
Rep. Keith Frederick, R-Rolla, says big breweries can afford to buy coolers to lease, but smaller breweries can't. He says that will help big brewers because those companies can place advertising on coolers and likely will give more space to those breweries.
Supporters say concerns are overblown.