MEETINGS & EVENTS
July 9-10 – ABL Summer Board Meeting | Madison, WI
July 29-31 – ECRS Ignite 19 Retail Success Conference | Nashville, TN
August 9-11 – TWSRA 2019 Annual Meeting | Gatlinburg, TN
August 25-27 – Center for Alcohol Policy 12th Annual Conference | Boston, MA
September 9-11 – MTA Annual Convention & Tradeshow | Sidney, MT
September 12 – IABR Fall Golf Outing | Indianapolis, IN
September 15-17 – ILBA Annual Convention & Tradeshow | LaSalle, IL
October 10 – IABR Annual Meeting & Board of Directors Meeting | Indianapolis, IN
October 14-17 – TLW 84th Annual Fall Convention | Green Bay, WI
October 21-23 – ABL Fall Board Meeting & Industry Meetings | Washington, DC
ABL & PUBLIC POLICY NEWS
|Landmark SCOTUS Ruling Chips Away at ‘Three-Tier System’: The notorious ‘three-tier system’ regulating alcohol sales in the U.S. may be on the way out. On Wednesday (6.26), the Supreme Court handed down a decision that paves the way for interstate shipping of alcohol with much wider ramifications. On a macro level, the 7-2 SCOTUS ruling determined that the states’ ability to regulate alcohol has boundaries.
Beer Institute Joins Lawsuit Against U.S. Treasury: A federal judge yesterday agreed to allow the industry trade group the Beer Institute (BI) to join a lawsuit filed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) against a pair of federal agencies regarding the collection of so-called “duty drawback claims.”
18 States Oppose Joint Employer Definition Favored by Restaurants: The attorneys general of 18 states have called on the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to change its proposed new standard for determining when restaurant franchisors are liable for the employment practices of franchisees, a protest that threatens the joint employer definition favored by the industry.
Congress Must Reject Blumenauer-McClintock Amendment on Cannabis (Op-Ed): When the House of Representatives vote on the upcoming Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, there is a sneaky provision hidden in the amendment tree that would effectively bar the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from taking action against bad actors in states that have passed “legal” recreational marijuana laws.
Spotify Claims It ‘Overpaid’ Songwriters and Wants Its Money Back: Spotify and music publishers have been in a bit of a tiff for months over a planned royalty rate increase that would require streaming services to pay more to artists. You can bet the company is watching the numbers closely, especially while it appeals the new rules.
Dems Push Craft Beer Tax Break Renewal, and More in Bill Headed for Markup: The House Ways and Means Committee announced its long-awaited markup of tax legislation with more than 50 provisions, including expansions of tax credits for lower-income workers and families with children and renewals of expired tax breaks for disparate interests ranging from biodiesel blenders to craft beer producers.
U.S. House Approves Measure to Protect State Cannabis Programs Against Federal Interference: In a historic vote Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bipartisan measure to protect state cannabis programs against federal interference. The amendment to the bill prohibits the DOJ from using funds to prevent states, U.S. territories, and D.C. from implementing laws authorizing the use, distribution, possession, and cultivation of marijuana.
Health Groups Want Alcohol Labels to Warn of Cancer Risk: A coalition of consumer and public health organizations is asking the U.S. government to change warning labels on alcoholic beverages to tell consumers of potential cancer risks. Alcoholic beverages already carry a warning not to consume alcohol if you are pregnant or operating a motor vehicle. In a letter to the TTB, the groups asked TTB to begin the process of amending the health warning statement currently required to appear on all alcoholic beverage labels.
|What You Need to Know About Legal Marijuana: U.S. consumers are interested in cannabis, and laws are changing to meet consumer demands, according to Nielsen, the research organization. Recently, Illinois lawmakers approved recreational marijuana use for adults, and sales of cannabis products containing the psychoactive element, THC, will be on the market beginning in January 2020.
Is Counterfeit Alcohol Behind the Dominican Republic Deaths?: Over the past few months, a string of mysterious U.S. tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic has caught the attention of tourists all over the world. To date, there have been at least 10 tourist deaths connected to the Dominican Republic in the last year alone, with the latest tourist, Louisiana woman Susan Simoneaux, dying a week after returning from her honeymoon in Punta Cana.
CBD-Infused Food and Beverages Are Still Illegal Under U.S. Law. So Why Are They Everywhere?: In 2017, no one knew what CBD oil was. In 2018, folks stumbled saying “cannabidiol” (that’s CBD oil) out loud. In 2019, it’s everywhere, and everyone wants in on it. In flavors like “cucumber mint refresh” and “watermelon renew,” a new line of CBD-infused waters and teas is hitting major grocery stores in California and Colorado on Monday.
Tobacco, Vape Shops Sell More to Minors Than Other Retailers: U.S. regulations require retailers to check ID for everyone under age 27 who tries to buy tobacco products, but half of tobacco and vape shops don’t do this, a 2018 study of California retailers suggests.
Teen Alcohol Use Is Down, but Plenty Are Still Drinking: Youth drinking is down in the United States, but doctors say parents and others must still reinforce the message about the dangers of alcohol use. The study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) surveyed eighth, 10th and 12th graders.
Marijuana Activists Pass Their High Point: This was supposed to be the year full cannabis legalization in the U.S. moved much closer to being a reality. Instead it has been a disaster for advocates. Although Illinois legalized recreational use on the final day of its legislative schedule, a half-dozen other deep-blue states that were expected to legalize failed to follow-including New York.
Craft Beer Is an Effective if Unexpected Ambassador in the U.S. Foreign Service: American craft beer was born with an anti-establishment pedigree. Battling against well-established national brands of gargantuan scale, early U.S. craft brewers often portrayed themselves as upstarts, rebels, or the smaller guy in the David and Goliath story.
The Draught Beer Quality Manual is an indispensable resource for brewers, wholesalers, retailers, and draught system installers. Prepared by the Brewers Association Technical Committee, this fourth edition includes updated best practices, detailed information about line cleaning, draught system components and design, gas dispense and balance, proper pouring, sanitation and growlers is organized with your needs in mind. The goal is simple — to improve draught beer quality and ensure that beer makes it into the consumer’s glass as the brewer intends.
Tavern League of Wisconsin
New Wisconsin Law Removes Limit on Hard Alcohol Sales at Liquor Stores
Liquor store giant Total Wine & More got a total win in Wisconsin on Monday, with the signing of a bill that will allow some liquor stores to sell unlimited quantities of whiskey, gin, brandy and other distilled spirits during a single transaction. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers signed the Republican-sponsored bill into law following years of lobbying by Maryland-based Total Wine to make the change.
Wyoming State Liquor Association
To Comply with New Casper Ordinance, Businesses Learn to Train Staff on Safe Alcohol Service
Larry Greene’s oldest son is in a wheelchair. Had somebody stopped a drunk driver from getting into their car 26 years ago, he might not be. Ever since, Greene has vowed to be the person who intervenes. He teaches others to do the same. Greene believes public safety is a group effort, and so he trains bartenders and servers to notice when a customer has had more than the safe amount of alcohol.
STATE & LOCAL NEWS
|Alabama: Liquor Store Owners in Athens Want Tax Cut from City, Say Current Liquor Tax Is Too High: Owners of privately-owned liquor stores in Athens are begging the city for a tax cut, saying the current liquor tax is affecting their businesses. WAAY 31 spoke with the city and owners of one liquor store to find out how reducing the liquor tax could affect both sides.
Alaska: How the Municipality Is Spending its Marijuana Money: Slowly but surely, more marijuana retail stores are sprouting up in Anchorage. A map on the municipality of Anchorage’s website shows nearly 30 shops open and operating across the municipality. The more cannabis sold, the more green the municipality sees from its 5% tax on marijuana retail sales.
Connecticut: Gov. Lamont to Sign Bill Allowing Craft Breweries to Sell More Beer: Governor Ned Lamont will sign a bill into law that lets craft breweries sell more beer. That legislation raises limits that had severely restricted sales in one of the state’s fastest-growing industries. While breweries have been able to serve their beer in taproom on the premises, there have been tight limits on how much of their beer they could let people walk out the door with.
Kansas: Old Town Bar Is Being Sued for Playing ‘Fat Bottomed Girls,’ Other Popular Songs: Wichita’s XY Bar is being sued for its song choices. Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the popular Old Town bar in federal court, alleging copyright infringement. The suit alleges that the bar at 235 N. Mosley played five songs that BMI owns the rights to, and that the bar had not paid for a public performance license.
Louisiana: 93 Baton Rouge Businesses Lose Liquor Licenses: Some 93 establishments in the Baton Rouge, La., area recently had their alcohol licenses revoked by the Alcoholic Beverage Control office, in the wake of a new ordinance mandating timely remittance of sales tax, Spencer Soicher writes. The licenses were pulled from businesses that were 90 days or more late on remittances, said Councilman Matt Watson of East Baton Rouge Parish District 11.
Massachusetts: State May Get Marijuana Delivery Services: Marijuana delivery services and possibly cannabis cafes are inching closer to reality in Massachusetts, reports the Boston Globe. The state’s Cannabis Control Commission has voted to approve draft regulations that would allow both business operations in the state but with significant restrictions.
New Jersey: Open Containers on A.C. Boardwalk Has Varied Support, Unlikely This Summer: The state Senate unanimously approved a bill last week that would allow alcohol to be consumed from open containers on the beach, Boardwalk and other designated areas within the Tourism District. With the state Legislature about to break for the summer and ongoing budget negotiations preoccupying lawmakers, the bill is unlikely to go into effect this year.
New Jersey: State Could Soon Crack Down on DWIs — Without Suspending More Drivers Licenses: More people who get caught driving drunk in New Jersey could soon be able to keep their drivers license but would be required to install a device in their car that would measure their sobriety. Judges have ordered people convicted more than once of driving while intoxicated or first offenders with a blood alcohol level of .15 or more to install ignition interlock devices in their cars since Ricci’s Law was enacted nine years ago.
New York: Legislature Passes Significant Changes to Liquor License Laws: The New York State Legislature has passed two bills in the waning days of the 2019 Legislative Session that will affect the liquor licensing process statewide. One bill would impose a posting requirement on applications for renewal. The other bill would require applicants to provide notice to certain entities.
||Oklahoma: State Supreme Court Declines to Weigh-In on Alcohol Distribution Law Change That Prompted Lawsuit: The Oklahoma Supreme Court declined to assume original jurisdiction in a battle among alcohol distributors and referred the matter to Oklahoma County District Court on Monday. The suit brought by the state’s and nation’s leading alcohol distributors and other interested parties asks the courts to block legislation passed during this spring’s legislative session that would require the 25 most popular brands to be made available to all wholesalers at the same price.
North Carolina: Sunday Liquor Sales Left Behind as Alcohol Bill Advances in House: State House lawmakers are advancing an omnibus bill loosening alcohol laws, but sponsors say it’s been scaled back to remove controversial provisions to speed its path as the session nears an apparent end.
Oklahoma: Arguments on Controversial Liquor Law Go Before Supreme Court Referee: An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee heard oral arguments Thursday in a challenge to a law that will alter the state’s alcohol distribution system. The Institute for Responsible Alcohol Policy and others filed suit against the law created by Senate Bill 608, which will require alcohol manufacturers to make their top 25 brands available to all wholesalers in the state.
Oklahoma: State Supreme Court Declines to Hear Arguments Over Liquor Distribution Law: The Oklahoma Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments against a controversial new law affecting wholesale liquor distribution in the state. Senate Bill 608, which was signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt last month, mandates that producers of “top brand” wines and spirits offer their products for sale to any licensed wholesaler without discrimination.
Oregon: State Has Too Much Cannabis; Two Laws May Help Manage the Surplus: Matt Miller’s family has farmed pot in Oregon since well before it became legal. But since the market flooded after recreational use was approved by state voters in 2014, prices have plummeted, putting strain on the operation he runs with his wife, Rhea.
Tennessee: Liquor Stores Feeling Financial Impact Six Months After Grocery Stores Allowed to Sell Wine on Sundays: Picking up your favorite bottle of wine is more convenient than ever especially since you can buy it on Sunday while you’re grocery shopping. Six months after a law allowing that went into effect, local liquor stores say it’s hurting their bottom line in a big way.
Texas: Mesquite Liquor Store Manager Accused of Embezzling More Than $100,000: The manager of a liquor store in Mesquite is accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from the store, according to police. Officers got a report in April that the manager of Lee’s Liquor had been embezzling money, the Mesquite Police Department said in a statement.
Utah: UHP Releases 1st Quarter of 2019 Numbers Since BAC Law Change: Utah Highway Patrol released statewide DUI numbers for the first quarter of 2019 since the Blood Alcohol Content law change. UHP said troopers made a total of 2,713 DUI arrests from January 1 to March 31, 2019. The total number of those arrested with BAC levels between .05-.079 was 135.
Virginia: 12 ABC-Related Laws Go Into Effect on July 1: Starting Monday, July 1, the commonwealth will enact 12 laws that impact the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC), its licensees and applicants for ABC licenses. The Virginia General Assembly passed the following Virginia ABC-related legislative proposals during the 2019 session.
Wisconsin: New Law Removes Limit on Hard Alcohol Sales at Liquor Stores: Liquor store giant Total Wine & More got a total win in Wisconsin on Monday, with the signing of a bill that will allow some liquor stores to sell unlimited quantities of whiskey, gin, brandy and other distilled spirits during a single transaction.
BUSINESS & LIFESTYLE NEWS
|What’s Ailing Beer: At the turn of this century, beer’s share of total alcohol in the U.S. stood at 58%. Today, nearly two decades later, beer’s share sits at 47.4%. We’re not sure which is more incredible: the fact that beer fallen that far or that beer was once that big.
For This Anheuser-Busch Heir, Trouble Followed: It was early in the morning of Nov. 13, 1983, when police discovered the broken body of a 22-year-old woman lying by the side of a road in Tucson, Arizona. Near Michele Frederick’s corpse was a smashed 1984 Corvette containing empty Bud Light cans, a .44-caliber Magnum revolver and a wallet with a Missouri driver’s license issued to August A. Busch IV.
Forget Bottles, Cans and Boxes: Kegged Wine Is What’s Next: When it comes to wine and where to drink it, Angelenos in 2019 are spoiled for choice. And inside Bar Bandini, on Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park, the scene at first blush may seem familiar: the twinkling bistro lights, the hip young clientele, the notice on the wall declaring “AVAILABLE FOR FILM SHOOTS.”
Thirst for Hard Seltzer Shows No Signs of Waning: Sales and popularity of hard seltzer are growing nationwide, with sales increasing around 169% last year to nearly $488 million, per Nielsen. Indiana Beverage Vice President Pat Flynn attributes the surge to consumers’ growing preference for low-calorie and gluten-free beverages, and the summery appeal of fruit infusions found in many seltzers appeals to drinkers.
Tequila Marketers Branch Out, Adding Flavored Offerings: While flavored Tequila hasn’t captured nearly the consumer attention of flavored vodka or flavored whiskies, there are a handful of brands now offering Tequilas with added flavoring. The majority are playing in the premium or super-premium tier and are 100% blue agave Tequilas.
Canned Cocktails That Aren’t Complete Trash: In recent years, it seems almost every craft brewery and distillery of note has decided that bottling beer and distilled spirits isn’t enough for them. They’ve seen the popularity of cocktail culture and decided that a canned “cocktail” is a good idea.
Millennials Have Sparked a Sober Revolution, and Alcohol Brands Are Starting to Notice: It’s everywhere you look these days: #SoberCurious, #SoberIs—y, #SoberLife and #SoberSaturday. There are sober nightclubs, sober early-morning dance parties, Instagram influencers who anchor their online identities with an eschewal of alcohol. The number of alcohol drinkers in the world has decreased by nearly 5 percent since 2000, according to the World Health Organization.
|Sam’s Club Partners with Instacart on Alcohol Delivery: Walmart subsidiary Sam’s Club announced today its launch of same-day alcohol delivery through Instacart. The service is now offered in 12 states and a total of 215 stores, with plans for expansion, and members can order from the in-house Member’s Mark brand as well as major brands like Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Kendall Jackson.
Corona Ditches Six-Pack Rings for Stackable Cans: Corona announced a new packaging design that ditches plastic six-pack rings for a more eco-friendly option: stackable, interlocking cans. The design earned an award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France on Monday, Mexico News daily reports.
Beam Suntory Hires ‘President of Brands,’ Eliminates CMO Title: The Chicago liquor marketer is doing away with its chief marketing officer role in favor of a more powerful “president of brands” position that it will fill with Carlsberg executive Jessica Spence. Liquor marketer Beam Suntory is doing away with its chief marketing officer role in favor of a more powerful “president of brands” position that it will fill with Carlsberg executive Jessica Spence.
Will ‘Canna-Curious’ Adults Ever Ditch Alcohol?: As regulations loosen and cannabis products become more mainstream, the average consumer is learning how to differentiate between non-psychoactive CBD and hemp in food, beverage and lifestyle products, and the high-inducing THC. Keef Brands from Colorado was founded in 2010 and was one of the first companies to infuse soda with THC.
Buybacks: How a Sacred Bar Ritual Got Ruined: In the early aughts, Shelley Lermack, then a North Carolina resident visiting the Big Apple, wandered into the storied Chelsea Irish pub, Peter McManus Cafe. “We went during the day,” Lermack, who now lives in the West Village, tells The Post.
How to Bridge Generations in a Family Business: Family-owned businesses employ 60% of the U.S. workforce. But keeping a company in the family for multiple generations can provide unique management challenges. Forbes provides four strategies to bridge the generation gap and transition your company for the many generations to come.
American Beverage Licensees is the preeminent national trade association for beverage alcohol retailers. Direct retail beverage alcohol sales in the United States generate more than 2.03 million well-paying jobs. ABL’s thousands of on-premise and off-premise licensee members are independent and often family-owned establishments. The beverage retailing industry pays over $27.9 billion in federal taxes and $20.0 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about ABL, visit www.ablusa.org