Tag Archives: beer and taxes

One Beer Article You Need To Read And Why, 10/23/16

Somewhere in the last year, the tide turned. I don’t know quite when it happened but it did. At some point, local governments across the country decided that the tax revenue generated by breweries was more important than “protecting” their citizens from the evils of alcohol.  It took almost 100 years, but alcohol is of more use as a revenue generator then it is a cudgel to enforce some version of morality.That is why articles like this pop up in newspapers every day.

I think craft beer and craft brewery culture is part of the reason this has happened.   Now, it is possible to get sloppy drunk at a brewery or a craft beer bar.  I’ve seen it done.  However, it is a rather expensive proposition to get drunk drinking that much $5 a pint beers.  Usually, when we cut someone off at Craft it is because we are like the 4th or 5th stop on that night’s bar hopping.

Let us not be stupid. Part of the reason craft beer people like beer is that it gets you a little drunk.  The operative word, being little.  There is an inclusive attitude inherent to craft beer you don’t get from macro light lagers. Using craft beer as a way to get blind drunk is expensive and inefficient.

Let me also caution, I’m not giving you the kumbaya, craft beer is a special snowflake that is above the crass marketing and pure business attitude of big beer.  Because it is not.  Craft beer is a great business.  You get to provide people with a product that aids in their having fun and, in the process you get to make a little money.  It’s much better than a real job.  Trust me.

Anyway, craft beer culture places taste above alcohol content.  This isn’t the gin lane from a William Hogarth fever dream.  If you have ever been to a brewery taproom at 2 o’clock on a Saturday, you are more likely to see a dog or a toddler then a bro looking to wasted.  This isn’t to say craft beer culture doesn’t have its own drunken buffoonery, but the majority of people who drink a lot of craft beer are rather mellow.  The culture breeds a kind of laid back attitude.

This gives politicians the license to promote breweries to increase tax revenue.  Tax revenue is shrinking as the cost of services increases in many places.  A lot of these cities and counties have fallow industrial properties perfect for breweries.  At the same time, the culture that craft beer represents isn’t seen the same way as “traditional” American beer or bar culture. This makes it acceptable enough to politicians.

I’m going to sit down and develop “Moe’s Alcohol Law Rule.”  In short, it will say anytime you see a new law involving alcohol, it is actually a law designed to increase tax revenue and not to promote or discourage alcohol sale or use.

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 6/8/16

The Wednesday Five Articles are here

Five Beer Articles You Need To Read And Why, 12/23/15

I keep getting emails telling me about last minute gift ideas for Christmas.  If you haven’t completed you Christmas shopping yet, you are not going to be able to buy anything really worth a crap.  Unless your ABInbev, in which case you’ll just keep buying as many ripe for the picking breweries as possible.

  • Let’s just get it out of the way, Breckenridge Brewing has been purchased by AB which makes it 3 new purchases in 5 days. As these purchases happen I have 2 thoughts.  The first is AB is simply buying breweries that were already in a mood to sell.  They are not going out there and doing hostile takeovers or anything.  They are doing their research and finding willing partners.  The second thought is a quote from Almost Famous: “If you think Mick Jagger will be out there trying to be a rock star at age 50, you are sadly, sadly mistaken.” That quote comes from a character who still thinks of rock and roll as a calling, an artistic endeavor outside the dirty bounds of business.  He was sadly, sadly mistaken.  Rock and roll is a part of the music business.  Mick is still going up on stage because he loves it and someone pays him lots of money to do it.  Brewing and craft beer are in some ways a calling.  However, craft beer is a part of the beer business.  That means if the owners of a brewery want to sell and someone comes along and offers them twice what they invested, they are probably going to sell.  To make you feel better, think of it this way: for all the brewers that AB has bought recently, how many new breweries have started up?
  • Ah, the sexy, sexy news about excise tax reform for brewers. Read that hot stuff right here.
  • I too am one of those people who refuse to stand in line to buy a bottle of beer. When I was younger I stood and slept in line for concert tickets and UNC/Dook tickets.  I’m old now, I’m not standing line for a damn thing.  Especially a bottle of beer.  Of course, as a person who works in a bar/beer retail shop, I pull my bottles out of the box and stash them away as soon as they are delivered.
  • The more I read, the more shocked I’ve become at how many states limit beer sales in grocery stores. As backwards as NC alcohol laws are, we’ve been able to buy beer of almost any strength in grocery stores for a long time.
  • One thing I learned when I really followed politics was that if someone is ranting about a law or an agency regulation was to go read the law or regulation myself to see if their rantings were based in reality. With the new FDA nutritional information requirements for beer, I forgot to do that. Here is a good breakdown of the new regulation from Queen City Drinks (the other Queen City: Cincinnati).