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MI's brewpub ban doesn't break fed's anti-trust law.

Ml's brewpub ban doesn't break fed's anti-trust laws

According to a recent court ruling, Michigan's brewpub ban does't break federal anti-trust laws.

The sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling may now make it more difficult for future owners of such establishments in other states to fight restrictions, attorneys believe. Although the ruling does not set a precedent in other circuits, other federal and state courts probably will use it for guidance in absence of their own precedent-setting cases, said Brian McCollam, attorney, Cowen Crowley & Nord, Chicago.

Although 30 states already allow the existence of brewpubs, other states, including Texas and Georgia, are still fighting the battle. Some state laws prohibit ownership of more than one kind of liquor or beer license, restricting them to brewing, distributing or retailing. Additionally, legislative efforts to change the "three-tier system" has been vehemently opposed by state wholesale groups.

The appellate judges in the case Traffic Jam and Snug, Inc. vs. State of Michigan agreed with a lower court's ruling that the state liquor commission's action was "pure state action" and therefore immune from federal anti-trust regulation. Traffic Jam's owner said he'd ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.

Meanwhile, the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Assn. said the case was "one of the most vicious and far-reaching tacks on the legislatively mandated three-tier distribution system."
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Title Annotation:U.S. Circuit Court upholds Michigan law
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Apr 30, 1990
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