Archive for the ‘Three Tier System’ Category

Oct 22, 2019

The Future of Market Access for Brewers and Distillers —and Wineries Too

There is an unusual collaboration and coherence among America’s alcohol beverage producers at this moment when it comes to politics. Just about everyone, from distillers to brewers to wineries—of every size—are lobbying federal lawmakers seeking an extension or permanent status to the current federal alcohol excise tax. It’s about the money, as it usually is. I don’t have a strong opinion on the propriety of making permanent the lower federal alcohol excise tax rate arrived at two years ago. However,…

Sep 3, 2019

A Comprehensive Review of Power and Ideology in Alcohol Politics

There is a political spectrum within the alcohol industry. However, it’s not much like the ideological extremes of American political culture. The American polity is divided; polarized in a way I can’t recall before. It’s as though the electorate will root for their team, no matter how absurd or radical the deeds, desires or words attributed to the leadership of their tribe. The middle of the American political spectrum is a wasteland—a bowed middle and top-heavy on the ends. While…

Aug 8, 2019

Archaic Booze Distribution Laws and Distributors Harming Industry

After consumers’ demand for easy access to alcohol products via direct shipping is satisfied, the most important issue facing the alcohol industry is self-distribution—wineries, brewers and distillers possessing the right to self-distribute their products in-state and over state lines directly to retailers and restaurants rather than be forced to use wholesalers. Michigan brewers want to address this issue now, but as always they are opposed by greedy, rent-seeking wholesalers who can’t make a reasonable or rational case for their protected…

Jul 31, 2019

Alabama’s Studies Wine Shipping…Because It’s So Damned Complicated

Despite the Alabama legislature being directed to form a Study Task Force to examine the wine direct shipping issue, I remain shocked that it actually happened. What’s even more shocking is that after 45 other states have figured out how to implement direct shipment of wine, Alabama needs a study task force to figure it all out. And it appears there are a few folks on the task force who can’t quite figure out how to implement direct shipping while…

Jul 17, 2019

The Flip-Flopping Response to the Supreme Court Wine Case

When you read or hear a group or person issue forth with a non-sequitur, the first thing you ought to ask is, why are they not addressing the point or the issue. Emma Balter writing for the Wine Spectator has done a really great job of covering the process and implications of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Tennessee Wine v Thomas—the ruling that declared states may not abuse their 21st Amendment powers to discriminate against out-of-state retailers. In her…

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