Archive for the ‘Three Tier System’ Category

Oct 11, 2020

Wine Wholesalers and Lawmakers Are Playing Chicken With Amazon

I watched a committee hearing last week that heard testimony concerning the proposal in New Jersey to lift the production cap that currently prohibits large, out-of-state wineries from shipping wine to New Jersey consumers. It isn’t likely to pass this year, but it eventually will. In the course of the hearing, various folks giving testimony assured members of the committee that, “no!”, this bill would not allow out-of-state retailers to ship wine into New Jersey. That soothed the concerns of…

Sep 28, 2020

Alcohol’s Three-Tier System Is Losing Its Power to Impress Judges

It was really an unusual takedown of an attorney by a judge. It was something you don’t see (or hear) very often. And it indicates what may be a significant change in the way the “three-tier” system is understood by members of the judicial branch. The incident I want to draw readers’ attention to occurred during oral arguments at the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals last Thursday in the case of Sarasota Wine v Schmidt. This case challenges Missouri’s law…

Sep 19, 2020

Recalling Justice Ginsburg as a Champion of the Wine Industry

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will not be remembered or revered for her 21st Amendment or Commerce Clause jurisprudence. Nevertheless, it’s true that Justice Ginsburg provided reliable support for the view that the 21st Amendment to the Constitution (ending Prohibition) does not give the states unlimited power to regulate alcohol sales and distribution in their jurisdictions. Rather, Justice Ginsburg embraced an interpretation of the Constitution that has led to a radical re-imagining of the role of state regulation of alcohol. In…

Aug 24, 2020

What Would You Ask the Enemies of Wine Shipping?

If you had a chance to pepper with questions those folks who… -oppose interstate wine shipping -oppose consumers being able to access the wines they want but can’t find locally -have argued that direct shipping by wineries and retailers will not only harm children but also destroy the three-tier system -have taken every opportunity to tell courts that winery and retailer shipping is dangerous and harmful and that consumers would be happy with what the three-tier system gives them …what…

Aug 18, 2020

Distillers…It’s Time To Go Big…It’s Time for Systemic Change

In one way or another, nearly every sector of the alcohol biz has requested some level of government aid in their effort to survive the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. In nearly every instance the specific aid request seems to shoot too low, particularly given the opportunity that this moment presents. A good example is the current effort by craft distillers and their various national and state trade associations to convince Congress to make permanent the federal excise…