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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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French Wine Militants Attack Again

Booze Politics

Decanter Wine Militants 07-22-2016Apparently free trade is o.k. only so long as one benefits from it. When certain growers face stiff competition, well…

Decanter reports: “A masked gang of militants claiming allegiance to the shadowy French winemaker group CRAV have attacked one of southern France’s biggest wine companies, smashing windows and setting fire to offices in protest at ‘cheap wine imports'”…. Read more at http://www.decanter.com/wine-news/crav-wine-militants-attack-winery-319099/.

 

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Warren Buffett Takes On the Three-tier Drinks System

Booze Politics

Warren BuffettIn Texas, as in much of the nation, alcohol is regulated under the so-called “three-tier system,” which requires alcohol manufacturers, distributors and retailers to be separate and independent from each other.

Texas, however, takes this requirement to the extreme. Not only may a company not operate in more than one of the three tiers, but state regulators have taken the position that a company that manufactures or distributes alcoholic beverages may not own even a single share of stock in any company that sells alcohol or vice versa.

The craziness of the “one share rule” is illustrated by a new lawsuit filed against the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission by the Texas Association of Business and, perhaps more notably, by the McLane Co., a drinks distributor owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.. Because Berkshire also owns shares in Wal-Mart, which sells alcoholic beverages, McLane is ineligible for a Texas distributor license under the rule….(Read more at the R Street Institute Blog)

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Will the CDC Let Us Drink In Peace This Fourth of July?

Booze Politics

CDC 4th of JulyAs Independence Day approaches Monday, one wonders if the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will follow its recent pattern and release some scary anti-alcohol study right before the holiday, so that everyone who enjoys a cold one can feel at least a little bit guilty about it.

In 2013, they were hawking junk science in opposition to liquor privatization in Pennsylvania, earning them a public rebuke from Dr. Raymond Scalettar, a clinical professor of medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center, a medical adviser to the Distilled Spirits Council and a former chair of the American Medical Association….(Read more at the R Street Institute Blog)

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Your ‘Local’ Craft Whiskey May Really Be From Canada

News

CanadaLew Bryson writes:

“Up until recently, Canadian whisky sales were in a gentle decline and as a result there was a surplus of aged flavoring whisky. With the meteoric rise of straight rye whiskey in America (between 2009 and 2015, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, sales were up a whopping 536- percent) it couldn’t have come at a better. A few savvy American entrepreneurs snapped up barrels of Canadian flavoring whisky and began to sell it, without much mention of its country of origin….”

Plainly, this origins issue is something the U.S. government needs to get straight. Consumers not seeing Canada on the bottle are being deceived, especially if the bottle carries language like “bottled in Vermont” or somesuch.

Read more at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/06/28/your-local-craft-whiskey-may-really-be-from-canada.html.

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