With more than 2,800 breweries operating in the U.S. and a new brewery opening each day, craft beer provides significant contributions to the American beer industry and the economy.
Evan Feinberg's column “Free Pennsylvania's brew” praised the entrepreneurial spirit of craft brewers but wrongly criticized the system that has been integral to their success. Craft beer's exponential growth — 18 percent last year — is because of, not in spite of, the independent, three-tier distribution system (brewer, wholesale distributor and retailer) that ensures all brewers of all sizes can compete and gain access to all retailers of all sizes.
This distribution system, regulated by the states, provides the infrastructure for craft brewers to reach a wide network of retailers and customers. In Pennsylvania, local wholesale distribution businesses like ours work to ensure consumers see a vast selection of beers on menus and in retail outlets. In fact, Pennsylvania has been recognized among states with the best access to craft beers — with more than 275 different brands of beer available within our borders, according to the Seek-a-Brew website.
Our 325 employees are proud to be part of this system that allows access to market for breweries of all sizes and delivers a wide selection of beer to consumers.
Frank Fuhrer III
The writer is president of Frank Fuhrer Wholesale Co. on Pittsburgh's South Side.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.