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Booze Politics

Ben Carnes Green HatFans of the HBO drama Boardwalk Empire will no doubt recall the series’ many Prohibition-era scenes featuring high-level politicians rubbing elbows with bootleggers and openly imbibing in private, even as they assailed the purported societal dangers of the “devil’s brew” in public. One needn’t look further than the story of George Cassiday for a glimpse into one of the many historic precedents that inspired such vignettes.

Cassiday was a World War I veteran who, upon returning home from Europe, found bootlegging to be a sufficiently lucrative means of making a living. He found an especially promising market in selling his contraband liquor to members of Congress, many of whom were vocal proponents of the very same Prohibition that necessitated his nefarious actions….(Read more at the R Street Institute Blog)

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U.S. Craft-beer Exports to the U.K. Rose 83 percent in Past 5 Years

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Four Beers WikiaThe Wall Street Journal reports: “U.S. craft-beer exports to the U.K. rose to 42,384 barrels last year from 23,109 in 2011″…. And it is not just the British who love America’s small brews. The U.S. exported  446,151, 31-gallon barrels of craft beer last year — up from 110,045 in 2011….(Read more)

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Maryland’s Alcohol Agency Brags That It Screws Up Only 15 percent of Its Deliveries

Booze Politics
Despite being a monopolist, Maryland's DCA sells less. Source: Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
Despite being a monopolist, Maryland’s DLC sells less. Source: Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

Maryland’s Montgomery County is a nice place. Its western border runs along the Potomac River and its southern territory abuts Washington. Many folks who work in the district settle in Bethesda and other parts of Montgomery County, as the schools tend to be better and the property prices lower. It is Maryland’s richest county, and boasts many attractions.

But Montgomery County is a case study in the peril of allowing the government to enter the drinks business. In short, once the government gets in, it is very hard to get it out, no matter how badly it performs…. (Read more at the R Street Institute Blog)

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