Proof the Three-Tier System is Whatever Alcohol Distributors Pay for It To Be

Here’s why you should never believe any politician who claims they want to “protect” the three-tier system.

neverYesterday, in the Florida Senate Rules Committee a bill (S.1714) that forces craft beer producers to sell their bottled beer to distributors, have it delivered from their brewery to distributor warehouses, then buy their beer back from the distributor at a 30% mark up, then have it deliver back to their brewery by the distributor before the beer producer can sell the beer to their customers at their brewery passed by a vote of 9-4.

This is the second committee that has reviewed this bill and the second committee to approve of this scheme. Now it will go to be voted on in the Florida Senate.

Here’s the kicker. The bill’s main proponent, Sen. Kelli Stargil, has received $6,000 for her upcoming Senate campaign from beer distributors. Before her last election, she received $500 from the same beer distributors. Of the various senators who have heard this bill in two committees so far, those that voted against it have received $2000 total from beer distributors. Those who have voted for it have received $51,500 total contributions from beer distributors.

The reason given by Senator Stargil for promoting this bill and the reason given by supporters on these two committees is that it is necessary in order to protect the “Three Tier System” of alcohol distribution. However, the bill does not force Florida wineries or Florida distillers to sell their beer to distributors then buy it back before they can sell it to their consumers.

This begs the question, is the Three Tier System whatever booze distributors pay for it to be?

Of course it is.

How long until distributors pay to redefine the three-tier system in Florida and other states to mean wineries and distillers can’t have tasting rooms without paying them extortion?

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2 Responses

  1. Peter Hellman - April 23, 2014

    Tom–strong stuff. Remembrance essays like this mean more to sons and daughters of a certain (advanced!) age….

  2. tom merle - April 23, 2014

    How fortunate we are to reside and do business in an enlightened state–which is probably due to our giant wine industry–and not have to pay extortion like they do in Florida. I’ll go on twitter anc call a spade an extortionist.


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