Florida Passing Bill to Pay Booze Wholesalers to Do Nothing
So, here’s how it’s going to work in Florida if you are a craft beer brewer:
1. You make great beer.
2. You bottle it for sale in your brew pub
3. You must sell it to a distributor/wholesaler
4. The distributor/wholesalers isn’t required to pick up the bottled beer
5. The distributor/wholesaler marks up your beer 30% and you buy it back at the higher price
6. The beer never left your premises.
This is not a joke. This is the specific way by which Florida craft brewers need to be prepared to get screwed by their friends in the beer, wine and spirits wholesale tier and their lawmakers. Let me just reiterate. In order for a brewer to sell bottled beer from his own brewpub, he must sell it first to a distributor who will come pick it and never touch it, but will market it up and sell it back to the brewer and it will never leave the brewer’s premises. The way this will work in practice is like this: the brewer will make and bottle his beer, then cut a check to the wholesaler for the privilege of selling his own beer in his own brewpub. The wholesaler will do nothing but receive checks.
There’s a word for this sort of thing. Actually there are many words and phrases to describe this. The best word is “theft”. Another good phrase is “protection money”. Another word is “corruption”.
Why was this new bill introduced and why did it today pass the Florida Senate Community Affairs Committee? The reason is political corruption. Wholesalers pay off politicians who then do their bidding by forcing other business to pay the wholesalers money for absolutely no services at all. And if the brewer doesn’t abide by this corrupt deal, they get fined by the government.
This is the “Three Tier System” at work. Not a single wholesaler in Florida or anywhere else in the country has had the gumption to stand up and say, “wait a minute, this wrong”. This is because wholesalers are completely corrupted by the three-tier system. They are worse than the thief who breaks into your home and steals our stuff. At least the thief had to work for it.
Politicians pretend to want to stand up for the three-tier system, but what they really are standing up for is to shake the hand of the wholesalers who are stuffing their fists full of cash in exchange for protecting the wholesalers protection racket.
This sort of thing is becoming so common now that it’s only a matter of time before a reputable publication does a real, probing story on the damage that wholesalers and the three-tier system have done over the past 80 years, how it is stopping entrepreneurship in its tracks, how the three-tier system is costing business and consumers billions of dollars and how politicians are in the hands of the wholesalers. It really is only matter of time.