Proposal criticized by Nebraska's craft brewers defeated

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- A measure criticized as harmful to Nebraska's craft breweries has been defeated in the Legislature.

Lawmakers voted 30-4 on Wednesday to strip the proposal out of a larger alcohol bill.

The proposal would have clarified that beer produced by microbreweries must first go to a distributor's warehouse before it gets shipped to liquor stores, groceries and other outlets.

Craft brewers say it would have stifled an industry that has flourished throughout Nebraska. Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue says the requirement would force small, rural microbreweries to send their products to warehouses in bigger cities, adding potentially hundreds of miles to each shipment and increasing costs.

Sen. Tyson Larson of O'Neill says his proposal would preserve the three-tiered distribution system intended to prevent tax fraud.