It’s Thursday and I have a nice Earl Grey in my cup and just finished my bagel. Let’s get into the Five Articles.
- I’ve skipped all the stories from each senator’s home state that their press secretary arranged to make the senator look engaged with the real world issues of real people, but there are a few good articles about the hearings and this is one of them. Part of the reason I like it is that it points out the senators will have little if any impact on the merger. That will come from the Department of Justice, and, as I constantly point out, the real world effects will be felt at the state level where distribution is regulated.
- This article from Mother Jones actually points out what I talked about above. The big brewers use their size and money to make local distributors ignore smaller brands. That is where the danger lies and no protestations from US Senators is going to change that fact. This is a fight that must be waged state to state and legislative house to legislative house.
- It is always comical to me when wine people discover beer is more than just Bud Light and actually has a distinct culinary usage that may be better than wine. If you love beer you should buy Jeff Alworth’s Beer Bible and if you have a craft beer lover in your life you should buy them the book for Christmas. It is worth it. I’m still going through it right now and it is wonderful.
- Georgia enacted a cockamamie law to appease both craft brewers and protect wholesalers that would allow brewers to sell tours that included beer “samples” but not technically sell beer. Things were weird but working until the Department of Revenue looked at the idea and regulated it as if they were selling beer, which they were. Now, politicians are faced with either writing a new bill or strong-arming the Department of Revenue into reversing its ruling.
- Back to the story of Colorado and grocery store beer sales. I don’t think the claims the side that wants grocery beer sales are true. There will not be some explosion of jobs and revenue from this. Consumers, in theory, will get easier access to craft beer and grocery stores will see an uptick in sales. I predict, the liquor stores that cater to the craft beer crowd will see little if any difference in sales. They will probably lose some of the ABInbev sales, but that is about it. The stores that sold primarily from the big brewer’s portfolio will be most affected, but that doesn’t necessarily hurt craft brewers.