Media

ABL Celebrates 10th Annual Package Liquor Store Month This November

Annual Celebration Recognizes the Role Independent Off-Premise Retailers Have in Job Creation, Product Accessibility & Responsible Policies

BETHESDA, MD – OCTOBER 31, 2019 – This November, American Beverage Licensees (ABL) and independent licensed beverage retailers nationwide will join together to celebrate the 10th Annual Package Liquor Store Month. This celebration recognizes the hard work, commitment to responsibility, and role played by independent package store owners in communities across the United States.

America’s off-premise beverage retailers play an important role within the greater economy at the local, state and federal level. As noted in ABL’s 2018 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers, off-premise retailers have a direct economic impact in excess of $42.04 billion annually. These retailers further account for more than 565,000 jobs and $18.67 billion in wages and benefits – along with generating $7.12 billion in state and local taxes and an additional $9.18 billion in federal taxes.

America’s package stores – some of the nation’s last independently-owned “Main Street” businesses – serve as the face of the beverage industry for consumers within the framework of the Three-Tier System, as they are the last to handle beer, wine and spirits products before they reaches consumers. Beverage alcohol brands are built by these businesses, and for many consumers, the local package store provides opportunities to sample and learn about new flavors, styles and varieties of beverage alcohol from an ever-evolving marketplace. This focus on customer service and consumer education often comes from trusted experts and includes how best to enjoy and share these products responsibly.

“The American package store plays an important role within the communities where they operate,” said ABL President J.J. Moran of Four Winds Liquor & Lounge in Cheyenne, Wyoming. “Not only do they conduct safe and responsible face-to-face sales to adult consumers – thus leading by example when it comes to preventing underage access to alcohol – but they also serve as some of the last remaining independent businesses in cities and towns across this great country. And it’s these businesses that continue to have a positive impact by creating jobs, supporting local youth sports and civic organizations, leading disaster relief efforts, and offering unparalleled product choices to millions of customers.”

Package stores also play a vital role in preventing counterfeit or tainted alcohol from reaching consumers.  Working with licensed wholesalers and suppliers in the Three-Tier System, customers are confident that the products they purchase in their local package store are safe and authentic.

This November, ABL encourages you to show your support for independent retailers and the 10th Annual Package Liquor Store Month by posting a picture of your neighborhood package store to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #PLSMonth.

Click here for more information and to view #PLSMonth promotional materials!

# # #

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 a 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.   

Joint Statement by International Beverage Alcohol Associations in Response to U.S. Tariffs Imposed Today on Certain EU Distilled Spirits & Wines

We are united in our opposition to the imposition of tariffs and clear in our view that there are no winners in a trade war.  Our 15 international beverage alcohol associations today sent a letter to the U.S. administration and the EU Commission calling for an immediate end to tariffs on distilled spirits and wines and welcoming their statements of their shared intent to reach negotiated solutions to the disputes.  Our industries are collateral damage in trade disputes that have nothing to do with the beverage alcohol sector. This new round of tariffs will further damage a transatlantic industry that has already been negatively impacted by the EU’s retaliatory tariff on American Whiskey.

American Whiskey exports to the EU have faced a 25% tariff since June 2018 and, beginning today, certain EU spirits and wines imported into the U.S. now face a 25% tariff.  Since the EU’s imposition of tariffs, American Whiskey exports to the EU have decreased by nearly 21%.  These tariffs are greatly harming the industry’s competitiveness, long-standing partnerships, workers and our farm suppliers.  The negative impacts will be compounded by these new tariffs on EU products entering the U.S.   Tariffs are taxes on U.S. consumers who create demand for these products in the U.S. marketplace.

Importantly, the U.S. and EU wines and spirits sectors are interconnected, with companies owning a range of European and American distinctive spirits and wines in their brand portfolios.   As a result, these new U.S. tariffs on EU spirits and wines could result in the loss of 8,000 good-paying jobs across the U.S. beverage alcohol sector, from importers, distributors, wholesalers, to the hospitality sector.

Prior to these recent trade disputes, U.S. and EU spirits exporters enjoyed more than two decades of tariff-free access to each other’s markets, and U.S. and EU wine exporters have faced very low tariffs.   This open access to each other’s markets has significantly benefitted EU and U.S. distillers, vintners, farmers, and the hospitality industry on both sides of the Atlantic, resulting in increased jobs, community investment, and consumer choice.

Additionally, many U.S. wine and spirits exporters may face the increasing likelihood that the EU may respond by imposing more tariffs on U.S. wines and other U.S. spirits products.

The next quarter is the busiest time of the year for spirits and wine producers on both sides of the Atlantic as consumers gear up for holiday gift-giving and entertaining.  In order to protect the jobs and communities we support, we urgently call on the U.S. and the EU to reach an agreement to de-escalate the current trade disputes by immediately and simultaneously removing the EU’s retaliatory tariff on U.S. whiskey and the U.S. tariffs on EU spirits and wines.

—–

Links to the letters sent today to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the European Commission

Background on EU Spirits and Wines Impacted by the U.S. Tariffs:

The United States is assessing a 25% tariff on imports of Single Malt Scotch Whisky; Single Malt Irish Whiskey from Northern Ireland; liqueurs and cordials from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and United Kingdom; and certain wines from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Background on U.S. Spirits Impacted by the EU Tariffs:

Since June 22, 2018, all American Whiskeys exported to the EU have faced a 25% import tariff.

The joint statement was issued by the following beverage alcohol trade associations:

  • American Beverage Licensees
  • American Craft Spirits Association
  • American Distilled Spirits Association
  • Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC)
  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS)
  • Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey
  • Drinks Ireland|Spirits
  • Federación Española de Bebidas Espirituosas
  • Kentucky Distillers’ Association
  • National Association of Beverage Importers
  • Scotch Whisky Association
  • spiritsEUROPE
  • The Wine and Spirit Trade Association
  • Wine and Spirits Shippers Association
  • Wines & Spirits Wholesalers of America

U.S. Alcohol Trade Groups Call for End to Tariffs on EU Spirits & Wine

U.S. alcohol trade groups urged an end to tariffs on EU distilled spirits and wine following the United States decision announced today to impose tariffs of 25 percent on imports of Scotch Whisky, liqueurs and cordials, and wine from certain European Union countries in connection with the WTO civil aviation subsidies dispute.

The U.S. action further ensnarls the distilled spirits industry in a trade dispute that began last year when the EU imposed a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on American Whiskey in response to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.  The EU is considering imposing more tariffs on additional U.S. spirits and could raise them against U.S. wine as part of a separate WTO civil aviation subsidies dispute.

Since the EU’s 25 percent retaliatory tariff on American Whiskey was imposed last year, exports have declined 21 percent. Additionally, China is imposing a 54 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. wine imports, which is contributing to a 57 percent decline in trade with China since the beginning of 2019.

These new tariffs on EU spirits and wine will have numerous unintended negative consequences on U.S. jobs, U.S. consumers and the many U.S. companies that include EU wine and spirits such as Scotch Whisky and liqueurs and cordials in their portfolios.

According to an analysis by the Distilled Spirits Council, these U.S. retaliatory tariffs on Scotch Whisky, liqueurs and cordials, and wine could impact nearly $3.4 billion in imports and could lead to a loss of approximately 13,000 U.S. jobs, including truckers, farmers, and bartenders and servers in the hospitality industry.

The U.S. and EU have a long history of tariff-free trade in distilled spirits dating back to 1994, when an agreement was reached to eliminate tariffs on the vast majority of distilled spirits.

Chris Swonger, President and CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, stated, “The decision to impose tariffs on imports of EU distilled spirits is a devastating blow to the U.S. spirits industry. While we recognize the U.S. and EU are trying to solve long standing trade disputes, distillers on both sides of the Atlantic have become collateral damage in matters that are completely unrelated to our industry. As the important holiday season approaches, we urgently call upon the U.S. and the EU governments to get back to the negotiating table and return to tariff free trade with our largest export market.”

Michelle Korsmo, President and CEO, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, said, “These tariffs stand to disrupt consumer-driven, industry-wide growth, and will negatively impact the family-owned businesses who import and distribute the nation’s wine and spirits. When free trade is compromised and business becomes more expensive to conduct, consumers are always left to pay for the damages by way of higher prices.”

Robert M. Tobiassen, President of the National Association of Beverage Importers, stated, “These tariffs will devastate, perhaps destroy, many small and medium sized family businesses importing these products into the United States. More than 12,000 importers hold Federal permits and provide solid middle-class jobs in their local communities selling brands of products demanded by consumers who should not be collateral damage by what is a pure civil aircraft dispute.”

Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO, American Craft Spirits Association, said, “On behalf of our nation’s growing community of nearly 2,000 craft spirits producers, the American Craft Spirits Association urges the Administration to work collaboratively with the E.U. to ensure all American businesses, including craft spirits, prosper. The threat of additional retaliatory tariffs from the EU on American rum, vodka, and brandy imports from the U.S. will further limit our market access, directly affecting not just our distillers and their families – who collectively make up a workforce of more than 20,000 employees across the U.S. – but the farmers and agricultural partners who supply their grains, the manufacturing industry that has helped support our community as they grow, and the broader hospitality industry.”

Matt Dogali, CEO of the American Distilled Spirits Association, added, “These spirits come to the U.S. market through a supply chain of predominately U.S. owned and operated companies.  This is a tax paid by American businesses and American consumers.”

Contacts:

Distilled Spirits Council: Lisa Hawkins, lhawkins@DistilledSpirits.org, (202) 682-8840

American Craft Spirits Association: Alexandra Clough, alexandra@gatherpr.com, (516) 428-7210

American Distilled Spirits Association: Matt Dogali, media@americandistilledspirits.org, (202)-670-4616

Kentucky Distillers’ Association: Eric Gregory, eric@kybourbon.com, (502) 875-9351

Wine Institute: Nancy Light, Communications@wineinstitute.org (415) 512-0151

WineAmerica: Michael Kaiser, mkaiser@wineamerica.org, (202) 223-5172

Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America: Michael Bilello, michael@wswa.org, 202-243-7506

American Beverage Licensees: Matthew Evans, evans@ablusa.org, (301) 656-1494

National Association of Beverage Importers:  Robert Tobiassen , nabipresident@bevimporters.org (202) 393-6224

Wine and Spirits Shippers Association: Alison Leavitt, aleavitt@wssa.com, (207) 805 1664

Save the Date: American Beverage Licensees Will Return to New Orleans for Annual Meeting March 29-30, 2020

BETHESDA, MD – SEPTEMBER 4, 2019 – American Beverage Licensees (ABL) announced today that it will return to New Orleans, Louisiana for the 2020 ABL Annual Meeting, taking place March 29-30, 2020. The meeting will be held at the Hilton New Orleans St. Charles Avenue and will include a range of speakers and networking opportunities for attendees and feature the latest news and trends in the beverage alcohol industry from leading industry experts.

As with previous ABL conferences, the 2020 ABL Annual Meeting will once again bring together beer, wine and spirits retailers from across the country – as well as representatives from the three tiers of the beverage alcohol industry. The meeting program will examine the key issues of the day facing independent beverage retailers including what can be expected in the wake of the Tennessee Wine Supreme Court case; regulatory and legislative developments in states; the evolving cannabis market and a host of other important topics that affect beverage retailers’ business and are shaping the beverage alcohol marketplace.

“New Orleans is synonymous with the beer, wine, spirits, and hospitality that have come to define a ‘golden age’ of beverage alcohol in the United States,” said ABL President J.J. Moran. “We look forward to welcoming bar, tavern and package store owners, as well as industry leaders, to the Big Easy as we examine the challenges, opportunities and emerging trends facing America’s independent beverage retailers.”

Additional information – including registration and room rates, speakers, schedules, and hospitality events – will be announced in the coming weeks and months. For the latest updates and information on the 2020 ABL Annual Meeting, be sure to visit the www.ablusa.org. The latest updates can also be found by following the #ABLMeeting20 hashtag on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

###

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 a 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.

U.S. Retaliatory Tariffs Could Cost up to 78,600 Jobs in U.S. Beverage Alcohol & Hospitality Sectors

Alcohol Trade Groups Urge USTR Not to Impose Retaliatory Tariffs on EU Spirits & Wines

 

AUGUST 5, 2019 – BETHESDA, MD – Up to 78,600 jobs in the U.S. beverage alcohol and hospitality sectors could be lost if distilled spirits, wine and non-alcoholic beer are included on the final U.S. list of European Union (EU) products targeted for retaliatory tariffs, according to an analysis by U.S. alcohol trade groups representing several beverage alcohol suppliers, wholesalers, importers and retailers included in a submission to the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The proposed retaliatory tariff list is part of a long-standing dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding civil aircraft subsidies and is unrelated to the beverage alcohol industry.

In the submission, the groups reaffirmed their strong objection to tariffs and the inclusion of EU spirits and wines on the preliminary retaliation list emphasizing that it “will lead to negative unintended consequences for U.S. consumers, will cause a further decline in U.S. beverage alcohol exports and will result in a significant loss of U.S. jobs.”

They explained that imposing retaliatory tariffs on EU wine and spirits products harms both the U.S. and EU alcohol sectors since many companies have created complementary product portfolios comprised of both domestic and imported spirits, wine and beer brands to meet consumer demand.

According to the analysis, approximately 11,200 to 78,600 U.S. jobs could be eliminated if the U.S. moves forward in slapping tariffs on spirits and wine products imported from the EU. This estimate is a significant increase from the loss of jobs estimated in the group’s May 28th submission due to USTR’s decision to add Scotch Whisky and Irish Whiskey to its April 8 preliminary list of EU products, which included wine, liqueurs and cordials, and Cognac.

“If beverage alcohol products remain on the final U.S. list, the EU would certainly respond by keeping U.S. beverage alcohol products on its list, thus inflicting more damage on U.S. companies that export to this critically important market and hampering the export progress that has benefited our sectors and created good-paying jobs across the U.S,” the groups stated. The EU has threatened to impose tariffs on imports of U.S. wine, vodka, and rum.

The groups underscored that the impacts of retaliatory tariffs are accelerating and are being felt across the entire U.S. supply chain, from farmers to suppliers to retailers.

Since the EU’s imposition of a 25 percent tariff on American Whiskey last summer, American Whiskey exports have declined 19 percent. Additionally, China is imposing a 54 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. wine imports, which is contributing to a 57 percent decline in trade with China since the beginning of 2019.

Several small U.S. distillers and vintners have had their export orders canceled due to the tariffs and as a result, have put a hold on hiring and have cut back on grain purchases.

The joint comment was submitted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, American Craft Spirits Association, American Distilled Spirits Association, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Wine Institute, WineAmerica, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, Wine and Spirits Shippers Association, American Beverage Licensees and the National Association of Beverage Importers.

The full text of the public comment can be downloaded here.

ABL Weekly – Issue 389 | July 5, 2019

ABL Weekly – Issue 388 | June 28, 2019

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates State Durational Residency Requirements for Retail Liquor Licenses

JUNE 26, 2019 – BETHESDA, MD – The Supreme Court of the United States today affirmed by a 7-2 vote the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas. The Court found that Tennessee’s durational-residency requirements for retail and wholesale alcohol licenses are not protected under the Twenty-first Amendment.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, opens the door for future challenges to state alcohol laws, including possibly even basic residency requirements that differentiate between in-state and out-of-state interests. The Court’s decision also creates uncertainty for retail beverage licensees who have long participated in the state regulatory systems that make up America’s alcohol marketplace.

“It is disappointing that the Court did not recognize the full weight of the Twenty-first amendment and the societal intent of the Tennessee residency laws when balanced against the Dormant Commerce Clause,” said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich.

“While today’s decision is not what those who recognize the importance of a well-regulated and orderly alcohol marketplace were seeking, beverage licensees must now recommit themselves to working with state legislators and regulators to adapt state-based alcohol regulatory systems that promote public safety in a manner that fits with the Court’s interpretation of the relationship between the Twenty-first Amendment and Dormant Commerce Clause.”

Justice Alito’s majority opinion noted, “That provision [Section 2 of the Twenty-first Amendment] allows each State leeway to enact the measures that its citizens believe are appropriate to address the public health and safety effects of alcohol use and to serve other legitimate interests, but it does not license the States to adopt protectionist measures with no demonstrable connection to those interests.”

However, the majority opinion also acknowledged the limit of its ruling, observing that, “Because we agree with the dissent that, under [Section 2], States ‘remai[n] free to pursue’ their legitimate interests in regulating the health and safety risks posed by the alcohol trade, each variation must be judged based on its own features.”

In acknowledging the legitimate role that States play in regulating alcohol, the Court confirmed “State law empowers the relevant authorities to limit both the number of retail licenses and the amount of alcohol that may be sold to an individual”; “the State could also mandate more extensive training for managers and employees and could even demand that they demonstrate an adequate connection with and knowledge of the local community”; and “the State of course remains free to monitor the practices of retailers and to take action against those who violate the law.”

In a strong dissent, Justice Neil Gorsuch, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, raised poignant questions about the implications of the ruling and the majority’s attempt to “‘rationalize’ the law and impose our own free-trade rules for all goods and services on interstate commerce.”

“What are lower courts supposed to make of this? How much public health and safety benefit must there be to overcome this Court’s worries about protectionism ‘predominat[ing]’?” asked Gorsuch. “Does reducing competition in the liquor market, raising prices, and thus reducing demand still count as a public health benefit, as many States have long supposed? And if residency requirements are problematic, what about simple physical presence laws?”

“In light of today’s ruling, and as we look to what the future may hold for the retail alcohol community, accountability, transparency and compliance will be of the utmost importance,” said Bodnovich. “ABL and its members remain committed to working with state and local regulators to promote responsibility and are resolved to be part of a beverage alcohol ecosystem that promotes a vibrant beer, wine and spirits marketplace that safely serves customers and communities.”

ABL Announces Staff Promotion: Matt Evans Promoted to Director of Communications & Public Relations

JUNE 25, 2019 – BETHESDA, MD – American Beverage Licensees (ABL) is proud to announce the recent promotion of Matt Evans to Director of Communications & Public Relations. In his new role, Evans will direct the association’s strategic communications and work with members, industry stakeholders, the media and members of Congress to highlight the important role played by America’s independent beer, wine and spirits retailers.

“In his three years with ABL, Matt has played an integral role in the development and implementation of a number of initiatives and campaigns highlighting not just the economic impact our members have, but also the role they play with respect to community involvement and philanthropy,” said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich. “This promotion is a testament to the contributions Matt has made – and will continue to make – to ABL in support of its mission.”

Evans joined ABL in May 2016 as Manager of Communications & Public Relations, where he has been instrumental in enhancing the association’s social media presence, website and content management systems. During his tenure at ABL, the association has experienced triple-digit growth in key areas such as engagements, impressions and media views. He was also responsible for overseeing and managing the association’s shift to digital-only publications, including a weekly e-newsletter and quarterly membership magazine.

Alcohol Trade Groups Call on USTR to Remove Spirits & Wine from Retaliatory Tariffs List of EU Products

Analysis Shows Tariffs Could Cost up to 45,800 U.S. Jobs

Trade groups representing beverage alcohol suppliers, wholesalers, importers and retailers, submitted comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) urging the removal of spirits, wine and non-alcoholic beer from its draft list of European Union (EU) products being targeted for proposed retaliatory tariffs.

The preliminary list of targeted EU products, which was announced by the USTR April 8, includes brandy, liqueurs and cordials, wine and non-alcoholic beer, as well as many other EU products. The issuance of the proposed list is part of a long-standing dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding civil aircraft subsidies and is unrelated to the beverage alcohol industry.

In the submission, the groups stated they “strongly oppose the inclusion of beverage alcohol products in the proposed retaliation list” and warned that the tariffs will have numerous unintended negative consequences, including on U.S. jobs, U.S. consumers and on U.S. companies that export to the EU, some of which already face retaliatory tariffs to that market.

The proposed retaliatory tariffs on certain beverage alcohol products imported from the EU would impact nearly $6.8 billion in imports and could lead to a loss of approximately 6,600 to 45,800 U.S. jobs, according to an analysis by the Distilled Spirits Council.

The groups pointed out that many U.S. companies–from farmers, to suppliers to retailers–are already being negatively impacted by the imposition of retaliatory tariffs by key trading partners on certain U.S. distilled spirits and wines resulting from other trade disputes, and that additional tariffs will only inflict further harm.

They cited, for example, that several small U.S. distillers and wineries report that their export orders have been cancelled after spending years of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars building up demand for their products in overseas markets. As a result, some U.S. distillers and wineries are holding off on expansion plans and new hires.

The EU responded to the U.S. draft list with its own preliminary list of U.S. products that it would target for retaliatory tariffs in a related WTO dispute, which included wine, rum, vodka, and brandy.

The groups stated, “We are gravely concerned that this escalation would compound the negative impact of the tariffs on a sector that is already feeling the damaging impact resulting from unrelated trade disputes.”

The groups concluded, “U.S. beverage alcohol producers have benefitted from the U.S. efforts to open up markets for our exports, which has been a tremendous success…We strongly urge the U.S. and EU to reach a negotiated settlement in this dispute and avoid the implementation of new tariffs.”

The joint comment was submitted by American Beverage Licensees, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, American Craft Spirits Association, American Distilled Spirits Association, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Wine Institute, WineAmerica, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America and National Association of Beverage Importers.

May Is National Tavern Month

Bar & Tavern Owners Urge Americans to Put Aside Differences & Raise a Glass in Celebration of Tavern Month

APRIL 30, 2019 – BETHESDA, MD – American Beverage Licensees (ABL) is proud to recognize May as National Tavern Month. Since 1953, Tavern Month has provided an opportunity to support local beverage retailers; promote the responsible service and enjoyment of beer, wine and spirits; and educate the public about the history, traditions and economic impact of the hundreds-of-thousands of on-premise beverage licensees throughout the United States.

The “American Spirit” of individualism and entrepreneurial courage is embodied in the traditions of neighborhood bars and taverns. Whether for celebrating or commiserating, get-togethers and spending time with friends are a hallmark of the bar and tavern business. While getting to know customers’ first names has become somewhat of a novelty in today’s fast-paced world, it remains an integral part of running a successful bar or tavern.

“The local tavern offers a much-needed place to put aside our differences in politics, sports and anything else that divides us – while connecting us with our friends and communities around a shared sense of conviviality and hospitality,” said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich. “From the Revolutionary War to our modern Digital Age, local bar and tavern businesses have held fast as an indelible part of America’s cultural fabric.”

The American bar and tavern, commonly referred to as the “Friendliest Place in Town,” personify both community spirit and social culture: central tenets to the civic framework of our nation. Whether a multi-generational, family-owned tavern; a new wine bar; an upscale lounge; or the corner bar, these establishments provide their customers with the same central function: serving as the place where members of the community join together over a pint of beer, glass of wine or their favorite cocktail.

While much has stayed the same, the culture of bars and taverns continues to evolve. With a strong emphasis on responsible consumption, it is vital for bar and tavern owners to operate their establishments with an eye toward responsibility. In order to provide the safest and friendliest atmosphere for their patrons, these owners and operators strive to employ innovative and effective methods of age verification, crowd control, and server training.

According to the 2018 Economic Impact Study of America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers, direct retail alcohol sales for on-premise, licensed establishments account for nearly 1.5 million jobs; $38.8 billion in direct wages and benefits; and more than $80.5 billion in direct economic impact annually. When including all sales by on-premise, full-service restaurants and drinking places, those numbers climb to 6.9 million jobs; $175.9 billion in direct wages and benefits; and over $363.3 billion in direct economic impact.

This May, join ABL and its state bar and tavern association affiliates nationwide in embracing the historic and modern roles of the American bar and tavern, the hardworking individuals who strive to keep the doors of their businesses open, and the jobs and support they provide to those in their communities. Celebrate Tavern Month this May by raising a glass to the American bar and tavern – #TheFriendliestPlaceInTown.

To learn more about #TavernMonth or to find ways to show your support, please visit www.ablusa.org/advocacy/tavern-month.

###

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.

Seventeen Independent Beverage Licensees Recognized As “Brown-Forman Retailers of the Year”

APRIL 5, 2019 – BETHESDA, MD – Seventeen independent beverage licensees from states across the country have been recognized as Brown-Forman Retailers of the Year. Nominated by their state licensed beverage associations for commitment to their state associations, dedication to the beverage alcohol industry and their success in business, these licensees were honored in a ceremony at the ABL Annual Meeting on March 25, 2019.

For more than two decades, the Brown-Forman Retailer of the Year awards have celebrated retail beverage licensees who engage in the responsible sale and service of beverage alcohol, are committed to their state beverage associations, and demonstrated excellence in innovative retailing. ABL congratulates all of the honored businesses and licensees for their outstanding and continued contributions to their state associations, the industry and their communities.

“America’s independent beer, wine and spirits retailers support a dynamic and exciting industry, while striving to both encourage and promote the responsible enjoyment of beverage alcohol by adult consumers,” said ABL Executive Director John Bodnovich. “These retailers have gone above-and-beyond the call of duty in their businesses, their state beverage associations, and their communities with their commitment to outstanding beverage alcohol sales and service.”

The 2019 Brown-Forman Retailer of the Year awards were presented by Michael Rasp – Brown-Forman’s Nevada State Manager. Rasp, who also presented the awards at the ABL Honors Gala in 2017, thanked the independent beverage licensees for their contributions to the alcohol beverage industry – highlighting the important role that independent retailers play in the continued success of the industry.

The 2019 Brown-Forman Retailers of the Year Honorees include:

  • William Johnston III | Liquor Express & Craft Beer Store | Huntsville, Alabama
  • Grant McCabe & Scott McReynolds | Rounders | Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Dennis Dinsmore & Joe Henry | Wyatt’s Wet Goods | Longmont, Colorado
  • Mike Kelley | Beach Liquors & Wine Merchants | Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
  • Art Ohmer | Gilligan’s Party Beverage Center | Savannah, Georgia
  • Bruce J. Hampton | Dutch Hollow Barn | Belleville, Illinois
  • Todd Antz | Keg Liquors | Clarksville, Indiana
  • Eric Hall & James Fogle | Mammoth Liquors | Campbellsville, Kentucky
  • Michael Ball | Silver Run Liquors | Westminster, Maryland
  • Gary Rogow | ABC Liquors | California, Maryland
  • Harry Patel | Heller’s Liquor Mart | Chelsea, Massachusetts
  • Mertice Marottek | Buckhorn Bar | Poplar, Montana
  • Angelo Marracino | Clarence Liquor Mart | Clarence, New York
  • Josh & Morgan Hammond | Buster’s Liquors & Wines | Memphis, Tennessee
  • Ervin Lee | L & M Retail Ventures, LLC | Dallas, Texas
  • Jerry Day | Second Shot Saloon | Fennimore, Wisconsin
  • Van Galloway | El Marko Lanes | Casper, Wyoming

###

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 a 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.
About Brown-Forman: For more than 145 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Early Times, Chambord, BenRiach, The GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by nearly 4,600 employees and sold in approximately 160 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit www.brown-forman.com. Brown-Forman reminds you to please drink responsibly.