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Johnson County breweries no longer required to sell food

Red Crow Brewing.JPG
Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 19:40:28-05

OLATHE, Kan. — Johnson County breweries are celebrating a big win after voters approved a measure to throw out a law that's been around since the 1980s.

The law required that 30% of brewery sales come from food.

Red Crow Brewing owner Chris Roberts said the law being changed will benefit all local breweries.

"It's more of a rising tide lifts all ships," Roberts said.

Between keeping up with federal and state licenses, Roberts said breweries had a lot to account for on a daily basis. Now, they will have one less regulation to worry about.

"By taking that burden off those business owners it allows them to focus best on what we're good at," he said, "and in the end that's making beer."

To hit the 30% mark, many businesses partner with food trucks. While the trucks help drive business, Roberts said there were a few drawbacks.

"If for whatever reason we had a down night, we still guaranteed the trucks a certain amount per night," Roberts said. "If they didn't make that in food sales we were obligated to make the difference up in a fee."

Roberts said working with Casual Foodie, the truck his brewery partners with, is a mutually beneficial relationship, and they will keep working together.

Duke's Place Food Truck owners Brian and Vanessa Ward partner with Pathlight Brewing in Shawnee and are curious to see how the law change affects their relationship with local breweries.

"It's just kind of a wait and see," Brian Ward said, "but we're not in any way worried about it because a food truck is mobile and we do all different kinds of events."

The change will be a good thing for food trucks too, according to Roberts, since breweries keep in close contact with each other and recommend trucks to work with.