Craft brewers fear last-minute regulations in budget

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MADISON, Wis (AP) -- Wisconsin's craft brewers and wineries are trying to head off a plan they fear legislators will tuck into the state budget that would prevent them from selling their products on-site and force them into contracts with distributors.

The Wisconsin Tavern League and the Wisconsin Beer Distributors Association have been trying to convince lawmakers to adopt legislation clearly prohibiting alcohol producers from distributing their products or selling them directly to customers.

The proposal would end craft brewers' tap rooms and selling on-site at wineries. They would instead have to have distributors move their products to retailers. Tavern League lobbyists say bars can't compete with microbreweries and wineries that are destinations for tourists.

Craft brewers and winery owners last week announced they had formed a coalition to oppose the legislation.

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