- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The owner of a Leavenworth microbrewery is asking Kansas legislators to make it easier for him to distribute his beer to restaurants, bars and liquor stores.

But the Kansas Beer Wholesalers Association argued Wednesday that the changes could kill off the state’s craft brews.

The House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee had a hearing on a bill allowing microbreweries to distribute their own beer.

Current law requires microbreweries to have wholesalers distribute their beer.

Leavenworth microbrewery owner R.D. Johnson said it’s difficult for small breweries to get their products distributed.

But beer wholesalers’ Executive Director Jason Watkins said past court decisions would require the state to allow major manufacturers to distribute their own beer, too. Watkins said they’d take over distribution and shut out craft brews.

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