Archive for the ‘Three Tier System’ Category

Mar 2, 2020

This is Why Alcohol Self-Distribution is the Next Big Thing

You are a small producer of wine. Say, 5,000 cases. What can you expect from working with a distributor? This is an important question that will be addressed at the upcoming 3-Tier Symposium being produced by Wine Industry Network in May. As a reminder, here is the basic conditions under which a wine producer must work in order to see their products end up on the shelves of a retailer or the list of a restaurant in another state via…

Dec 15, 2019

The Wine Issues and Items of 2019

After working on behalf of clients, my time is often taken up with attention paid to those issues and items in the wine world that most significantly impact my industry and my life. In 2019 there were many wine issues and items that consistently captured my attention. Going forward into 2020, many of these issues should attract your attention too. The Aggregators For those of us who closely follow the wine news and news of the industry, the aggregators have…

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…