Like most of the country’s nearly 9,000 breweries, the Wichita Brewing company would like more Americans to drink its beer. That’s been an unexpectedly difficult hurdle for the Kansas company.
While craft beer drinkers in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Wyoming can enjoy Wichita beer, the brewery has been trying for a year to sell its beverages in Minneapolis. Its inability to do so is thanks to post-Prohibition state laws that force most breweries to rely on a limited number of distributors to get their products into stores, bars and restaurants.
Most of those distributors are tied to brewing giants Anheuser-Busch InBev or Molson Coors and take on only a handful of small, independent breweries, so craft brewers are forced to pitch their brands to the few wholesalers willing to consider them.