Categorized under: beer laws

BEER LAW: Medley of stories – Oregon, Arizona, Hop Obama, Texas, Golden Gophers

Since the downturn of the economy, many state legislatures are searching for new ways to “collect” more revenue. Where are they turning to? To the industry that is doing the best in this economy: Alcohol. Here are a few things that have been going on:

Oregon State Legislation wants to increase the beer tax


Arizona legislators trying to outdo Oregon with a 2087% increase in beer tax

    It wasn’t enough that Oregon legislators wanted to whack beer drinkers and their state’s small breweries with a 1900% tax increase. Now Arizona is considering a “Liquor Luxury Tax” of $3.50 a gallon ! That’s up from the current rate of 16 cents a gallon.

    Details: Arizona H.B. 2524

    At $3.50 a gallon this equates to $7.85 per case “luxury” tax on beer. The logic is unfathomable. There won’t be any breweries around to pay the tax. Loss of jobs are but one calculable causality.

    Against: Approx. 25 small and independent craft breweries in Arizona
    For: State Legislatures
    2Beerguys: Two Thumbs Down

    Beer Examiner


Easing restrictions on microbreweries – Texas

    This bill is a way to support quality entrepreneurship in Texas. The legislation, if passed, would amend the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission code to allow small in-state brewers to sell bottled beer for off-premise consumption at their breweries.

    Details: Texas Brewers Parity Amendment HB 1062

    Texas winemakers were successful in 2005 in amending the TABC code to permit wineries to sell wine on site to take-home customers. This generates an increased wine sales by greater than 12%.

    For: Craft Breweries located in Texas – (currently only 8 – Spoetzl Brewery, Austin’s Live Oak and (512) Brewing, Saint Arnold Brewing in Houston, Real Ale in Blanco, Southern Star in Conroe and Franconia in McKinney.) And two brewing giants in Texas — Miller in Fort Worth and Anheuser-Busch in Houston)
    Against: Texas beer distributors
    Not Included: Brewpubs

    2Beerguys: Two Thumbs Up

    Star Telegram

Sixpoint is no longer allow to make ‘Obama’ ale: Brooklyn, New York

    Sixpoint Brewery was ordered to stop making it’s popular “Hop Obama” ale. The cease-and-desist order was issued by the Tax and Trade Bureau of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on the grounds that Sixpoint Craft Ales did not have permission from to use the president’s likeness on the tasty, hop-heavy brew.

    Concern: Label rights were approved, but then taken away. This is a reminder of how swiftly prohibition destroyed the beer industry.

    Also, Sixpoint would have to destroy their product and take a loss. In this economy, this could be damaging to the brewery. Pacific Standard, a Fourth Avenue bar had donated $1 from every pint of Hop Obama to the Obama campaign. “[Sixpoint] wasn’t trying to use his name to make money, they were actually trying to support him — while making a good beer.”

    Winners: No one
    Losers: Sixpoint Brewery and Hop Obama ale fans.
    2Beerguys: Two Thumbs Down

    Link to article on the Brooklyn Paper
    New York Times: Microbrewery behind “Hop Obama”
    New York Times: Crying in Their Presidential Beer

Lawmakers are debating this year’s omnibus liquor bill: Minnesota

    The University of Minnesota is in the middle of building a new football Stadium for the Golden Gophers. The University has proposed to limit alcohol sales only to premium seating areas and suites in the new TCF Bank Stadium.

    Concern: “Alcohol sales shouldn’t be limited to places where the rich people sit.” It could increase binge drinking before the game.

    For: University of Minnesota Board of Regents
    Against: University of Minnesota fans who can’t spend billions for tickets.
    2Beerguys: Two Thumbs Up

    Other items currently in debate:
    * Legislation that would allow craft brewers who make more than 3,500 barrels and less than 7,000 barrels to do both retail and wholesale sales. (The bill was withdrawn before a vote was taken.)

    * Relax rules for artisan distillers that make up to 25,000 gallons a year of vodka, whisky and other hard alcohol. This bill would allow artisan distillers to operate by buying a $250 license. Currently, artisan distillers must pay a $30,000 annual manufacturers fee to do business. Distillers would be allowed to sell a liter of liquor at off-sale to customers. (The bill was laid over without a vote being taken.)

    The bills run into conflict with Minnesota’s three-tier system of alcohol supply and distribution. The system, which dates back to the Prohibition era, prevents the makers of alcoholic beverages from distributing and selling their product.

    Winners: Macro Breweries (who don’t face additional competition), Distributors,
    Losers: Small Craft Breweries and Distilleries, Consumers.
    2Beerguys: Two Sad Thumbs

    St. Paul Legal Ledger


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