Alcohol Wholesalers and Regulators Caught Red Handed in Collusion

collRead this link (“Georgia Beer Brewers: State Sold Us Out to Distributors”). It will outline perfectly the corrupting impact of the state mandated three-tier system, demonstrate how large, powerful, state-protected wholesalers exert a corrupting influence on lawmakers and regulators and outline a very specific instance in which regulators worked hand in hand with wholesalers in an alliance to maintain the regulatory status quo to the disadvantage of consumers and producers.

In the case of the George Department of Revenue’s unethical alliance with alcohol wholesalers reported by the Atlanta Constitution Journal, we actually have emails that demonstrate the alcohol regulators deeply in bed with wholesalers to thwart the will of the legislature in an effort to protect wholesaler profits.

The only real question left is whether the regulators secretly accepted bribes, if they did accept bribes how much did they get and the extent to which regulators were pressured by Georgia lawmakers to change well-defined rules that ended up screwing craft brewers. What is not at issue is whether or not numerous employees at the Georgia Department of Revenue should be fired for their unethical bond with state’s alcohol wholesalers.

This only reiterates a point that everyone in the wine, beer and spirits business knows and what more and more consumers understand: The greatest threat the well-being of the American wine, beer and spirits industries is the state-mandated use of wholesalers and the greatest threat to consumer access to wine is the power the state grants to wholesalers who spend huge amounts of money lawmakers, lobbyists and regulators in order to protect themselves from having to fairly compete, let alone offer service of any value.




4 Responses

  1. David Vergari - November 19, 2015

    This comes as no surprise.

  2. Jim Lumbers - November 19, 2015

    The Australian states and territories have different liquor laws. Generally, in the name of protecting the public from the evils of alcohol, but usually operating to protect incumbents, especially members of the Hotels Association. The Australian Capital Territory has the least restrictive regulations. Also, the least alcohol-fueled violence, public drunkenness etc etc. The hotel owners regularly use any incident relating to alcohol to try and impose more restrictions, fortunately without much effect.

    In fact, I would submit that the ready availability of alcoholic beverages in supermarkets, coffee lounges, restaurants, petrol stations, butchers’ shops etc, encourages relaxed, responsible drinking usually with food and a high proportion of wine and beer at the expense of the hotels’ swill pits, cocktails and hard spirits.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the country is unable to shake of the influence of the hotel chains and their paid lobbyists and still applies restrictive and unfair laws, keeping out new entrants and innovative hospitality experience.

    But isn’t that inevitable with state regulation to “protect the public”

  3. tom merle - November 19, 2015

    I think the craft brewers will ultimately prevail per SB 63

    What Senate Bill 63 said about tour pricing:

    “If a brewer chooses to charge a fee for a brewery tour pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section, such brewer may charge varying fees for the brewery tours, provided that such fees are charged prior to the beginning of such tour. The provision of malt beverages by a brewer as part of a brewery tour pursuant to this Code section shall not be deemed a retail sale of alcoholic beverages.”

  4. Tom Wark - November 19, 2015

    How are you?

    Regulators have pretty wide discretion in how they enact rules, which are usually left up to them to device per the law. The brewers would have to sue.

Leave a Reply