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wolf_tracker
01-11-2008, 07:00 PM
:wave:

thought you all would like this:

http://www.reason.com/blog/show/124327.html

:cheers:
wolf

wildaho
01-12-2008, 01:18 AM
I've been following this issue pretty closely, being the manager of store that ships beer, wine and mead to several different states.:angry5: I should be able to ship to all 50 states.

It's amazing the power the lobbies for major distributors have. The note about how campaign contributions to the legislators in Texas outweighed all other industries was very telling. And it's not just Texas.

Distributors want to maintain the three tier system so that they can keep their profits (and power). Distributors do have a big benefit to the consumer (bulk buying power/shipping costs does lower the price considerably to local consumers) but still... what about choices? And the major breweries/wineries want to maintain that same system so they can keep the market saturated with their swill. To hell with choice!

Granted, in some states the restrictions are based more on religious or moral grounds but they are few (Utah). And even there, I'm not so sure that the distributors don't have a major influence. But what about states like Pennsylvania? Purchase only by the case? Come on! (there may be some headway here though, there is a new bill before their legislature right now).

The Interstate Commerce Act still leaves states the right to regulate alcohol sales, even after prohibition. What the ruling mentioned in wolf's article made happen though was that states have to treat out-of-state wineries the same as in-state wineries as far as taxation and other issues go or not treat with them at all. Michigan and New York were both found to be unfair in that respect. That leaves the option for each state to either ban out-of-state (internet) sales altogether or to tax/regulate out-of-state sales the same as in-state sales. This ruling helps but it still doesn't solve the problem.

Sorry, this is a sore issue for me, I have to deal with it daily. We're here on this site to share our experiences with making our own. But still, wouldn't you like to have the choice to try commercial offerings of mead from other places? Or even the opportunity to try a mead from Oskaar or anybody else on this site? Just for comparison purposes if nothing else?

Believe me; by law, you, as a private party, CAN NOT LEGALLY ship a bottle to a buddy in another state without filling out forms, paying fees and praying to your buddy's local Alcohol Control Board (if they'll even except out-of-state shipments.) And it's damned expensive to do so. That single 12oz bottle you want to send to a friend may cost over $1000.00 in filing fees and permits to make it legal. And if you send it get busted? Sh*t! Now we are talking big bucks!

So thank you wolf_tracker for giving me a soap box to pontificate from! Everybody, seriously, write to your state legislators tell them what you think about out-of-state sales. It's all about choice.

I don't say this because I manage a store that has to deal with it. It's just that I'm probably more cognizant of the issues involved. Why should "the government" care if I ship a bottle of my own to a friend in another state? Especially if it's something that "I" brewed and want to share. It's not like I'm making a profit from it. Taxation and revenue... Or choice? Hmmm. Your call.

Two issues. 1) Being able to buy commercial offerings beyond what your local distributors might carry and 2) being able to share your own meads/brews with friends. The way the laws are right now, they are the same.

I'll step off the soap box now...

(grumble, grumble, groan...) :BangHead:

Wade

Launcelot
02-20-2008, 09:07 PM
You aren't supposed to ship over state lines?

Wow, I bet the postal police are looking for me now...

For christmas this year I did a sparkling cider, I started with a 15g carboy, apple juice and a yeast that was just in a big shiny gold package labled "Turbo".

6 weeks later I was sugaring and bottling in Champagne bottles (ok, for those that have never had this experience trust in me, do *NOT* do this in the kitchen, you will inevitably spend the next month scrubbing cider off the walls).

In any case, 14 cases later I stopped, bottled the rest in gallon jugs and called it a night.

If you are ever looking to go suicidal with yeast, turbo is the answer, my vinometer peaks at 27%, the cider was well past that rating.

So, Labled, packaged, and delivered to friends and family, including bottles shipped individually to 9 states (and Canada) none of which got so much as a raised eyebrow.

I had asked the folks at the post office, they asked where I bought it, I explained that I had made it, they said it should be fine. (I also handed off bottles to a couple postal workers which may have influenced things) in any case, wow, I owe taxes on a product that I made in my garage?

--L