Alcohol regulation in America is a legislative Gong Show. Laws vary from state to state. Statutes date back to 1933, shortly after the repeal of Prohibition. Bills are suspiciously crafted to protect and support alcohol’s outdated three-tier distribution system. Government programs are set up to create protectionist enclaves for regional businesses. Craft Brewing Business has been shining a floodlight on the chaos of beer law since it was founded in 2013. Last year, government beat writer Keith Gribbins took that coverage to award-winning levels. No, really. He’s currently up for a 2019 Azbee Award of Excellence in the category of government coverage for his 2018 work. The Azbees focus on the best business writing in America, judged by the American Society of Business Publication Editors.
Here are three big stories we highlighted:
Shady government polices
Canada’s protectionist provincial policies are nothing new, but Alberta’s Small Brewers Development Program hit impressive levels of deceptiveness, creating a shell game to get Alberta craft brewers around taxes. We expose the masquerade.
Pennsylvania brewers will be required to pay a new state retail tax on on-premise beer sales. Brewers are outraged. The problem is it’s not new, it’s in line with sales tax around the state and everyone’s got the wrong info. We deep dive with the state to show why it makes sense.
At the last second, Anheuser-Busch lobbyists tried to create a legal pay-to-play scheme with beer merch in Ohio. We reached out to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association and Anheuser-Busch to understand why, spreading the message to get the amendment removed.
Big high five to Keith Gribbins. Please take a second to pat yourself on the back, and then get back to work. MUSH!