Today in the Five Articles, nothing can kill business faster than stupid and greedy politicians. Wholesalers are doing a great job of muddying up any legislation that takes one iota of leverage and money and politicians are too willing to take wholesalers money and do what they are told. I have no problem with the three-tier system. I understand why it exists and I understand how it helps brewers get their beer out to the public. I have seen many good brewer and distributor relationships. However, I have also seen the laws that are so weighted towards the distributors that the brewers have been hurt irrevocably.
- We’ll start off with the business of cans. Someone asked me a couple of months ago whether they should buy stock in breweries. As much as I love brewers and breweries, I told him he should invest in brewery equipment manufacturers and canning/bottling equipment manufacturers. A lot like this one.
- Here is a nice rundown of the brewing industry in Australia as the consolidation that has hit the US and Europe starts to creep into Oceania and Asia.
- Here is the first case of politicians screwing up a good thing and it comes from Canada. Ontario plans to allow grocery stores to sell beer. Up until now, beer could only be sold at state-sanctioned stores formed by a conglomeration of the biggest Canadian brewers. With the new law, people thought, “Great, I’ll have the opportunity to buy beer at my own convenience.” Then the details came out and let’s just say a lot of people like the smaller grocers are getting screwed.
- For the first of the stories about Georgia’s screwed up beer laws we go the Austin American Statesman. I am going to take the side of the Georgia Revenue staff who looked at this cockamamie law and had to figure out a way to make it actually work and still be consistent within the state’s constitution. It is the politicians and the wholesalers that turned this into a mess.
- Here is the second story, and with more context I will say while I understand the Department of Revenue was put in a tough spot with a ridiculous law, they did pull these rule changes out of thin air. There was no warning and no discussion. I rarely attribute to malice what more likely caused by incompetence (see terrible officiating in sports), but in this case I will make an exception and lay this at the feet of the Georgia wholesalers lobby and the politicians that they own.