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Beer Bill Passes Senate

Craft breweries have won a victory over Anheuser-Busch after the state Senate voted to force the beverage giant to sell the two Kentucky companies it owns that distributes its products.

The Senate on Wednesday voted 23-13 to ban brewers from owning distributors. The bill has already passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and a spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear says the governor will sign it into law.

The bill means Anheuser-Busch must sell the Louisville distributor it has owned since 1978 and an Owensboro distributor it purchased last year. Craft breweries worried Anheuser-Busch would only sell and market its own products if it owned distributors.

Anheuser-Busch said the bill represents an assault on its property rights and warned it would put 200 jobs in jeopardy.

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