Beer Quality Standards in Hands of Oklahoma ABLE Commission

Article excerpt

Consumer taste buds deserve better than what Oklahoma Class B wholesalers are willing to provide, brewers and distributors said Friday during a media presentation held at Premium Beers.

Representatives of Anheuser-Busch and Premium showed variances in beers not refrigerated properly as well as beers poured through unclean lines. The demonstration was held to gain support for quality control standards under consideration by the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission.

Alastair Pringle, senior director of brewing research for Anheuser-Busch, said proper refrigeration, rotation of the product, and cleaning of lines were all extremely important to the overall quality of the beer. He said not maintaining the beer at the proper temperature would have a negative effect.

"We know that it will lose some of its freshness," Pringle said.

The three issues presented by Pringle are all part of a dispute before the ABLE Commission between nonresident sellers and wholesalers involving quality control standards of strong-point beer. The standards are already part of ABLE Commission rules, but wholesalers are seeking a repeal of the rule that allows distributors to require the standards.

A public hearing was held last month to allow the industry to discuss quality control standards. The commission is scheduled to meet again March 21 to possibly make a final decision.

Brett Robinson, president of the Oklahoma Malt Beverage Association, said the rule has been in place for years but has never been followed by the wholesalers. …