Author Topic: Newsday: Booze  (Read 51976 times)

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Offline nacho

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #120 on: September 18, 2012, 10:42:20 AM »
Dc has two new breweries -- the first truly local breweries since 1956. So it's time to love them up a bit.

Chocolate City Beer:

http://www.chocolatecitybeer.com

Three Stars:

http://www.threestarsbrewing.com/

Haven't tried either yet...but plan to ASAP!

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #121 on: September 27, 2012, 04:00:53 PM »
http://uncrate.com/stuff/churchkey-beer/

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Believe it or not, beer used to come in cans that required you to put in a bit of work before you could enjoy their hoppy essence. Churchkey Beer ($TBA) is looking to bring that experience back with a flavorful, golden Pilsner that comes in a flat-top can — leaving you only one way to get the sudsy goodness out. Extra points for friends that have a churchkey on hand without you warning them first.

Offline nacho

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #122 on: September 27, 2012, 04:19:52 PM »
Each case used to come with a churchkey!

I hate shticks like this. The "canned beer come back" routine is getting silly. Cheaper for them to produce, yet given this pallor of nostalgia that allows them to still charge $7 a beer.

Offline nacho

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #123 on: February 12, 2013, 12:37:01 PM »
Ooh...

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/alcohol_abuse_maker_mark_watering_AZ4jgR0ULxevDXLlE6uRRO

Nasty, nasty...

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The distillery behind Maker’s Mark bourbon is reducing the amount of alcohol to meet a rise in global demand, company officials said today.

Maker’s Mark is distilled to 45 percent alcohol by volume — or 90 proof — and, after the change, would go down to about 42 percent ABV or 84 proof.

“Lately we’ve been hearing from many of you that you’ve been having difficulty finding Maker’s Mark in your local stores,” Maker’s Mark executives Rob Samuels and Bill Samuels Jr. wrote in a joint email to clients.

“Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply.”

The bourbon brand — which famously used the slogan “It tastes expensive... and is” in the ‘60s and ‘70s — looked at “all possible solutions” and “worked carefully” to reduce the alcohol by volume of the beverage by 3 percent.

Company execs said the move would ensure there is "enough Maker’s Mark to go around" while it boosts production at its distillery, but the move is sure to leave a bitter taste in the mouths of some drinkers.

"Usually you're going to notice that," Williamsburg bartender Erik Lane, 31, said of the lowering in proof. "If I started putting a half shot of water in the bottom of everyone's beer just to make the keg last longer they'd notice."

"I don't think the proof really matters [for a drink to be enjoyable]. But when that's your reason for doing it, I just think that's a cheap business practice," Lane, an occasional Maker's Mark imbiber, added.

It is unclear when the watered-down beverages will hit the market.

Offline nacho

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #124 on: March 22, 2013, 12:27:40 PM »
While we wait for the next issue of Modern Drunkard to be shipped...here's a great op-ed from the editor:

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Congratulations, You Made the Cut
We are all alcoholics. I am not saying this in the same tones as “We are all Columbine,”  “We are all Haiti” and all those other ridiculous statements made by those who, perhaps because they don’t have sufficient tragedy in their own lives, attempt to vampirically co-opt the suffering of those who have recently been dealt too much. No, I am referring to the American Psychiatric Association’s recent guidelines about what defines an alcoholic. They have, to paraphrase Mr. Churchill, “broadened the seas to fit more rowboats.” For example, if you are a college student who binges (drinks one drink an hour for five straight hours) once a month, you are an alcoholic. An addict. And you probably thought you were just having a few beers at the game, but there it is.

I’m certain the real serious drinkers, those who perhaps binge twice or even three times a month, will experience a slight twinge of irritation at seeing all these new pledges (if the study is adhered to, our ranks will swell by 60%) being awarded that hard title so easily. It’s as if the Army’s Airborne school suddenly removed the requirement of jumping out of airplanes and started awarding jump wings for sticking your head out a window that is at least five stories off the ground.

At the same time, it’s good to know the tribe is growing and quickly. Probably not all of the new arrivals will want to actually be identified as alcoholics, at least not in certain company, but they’ll come around. And once the APA lowers the standards to the point that a quarter of the population are alcoholics (and they will), we will become a powerful voting bloc. Soon there will be whiskey coolers in every office, and January 1st will be National Hangover Day, a federal holiday.

Of course, broadening the power of the Alcoholic Party is not the APA’s intention. Quite the opposite. Their intention, and I am one-hundred percent sure of this, is to shame moderate drinkers into not drinking at all. Why? Because (come through the looking glass with me) the APA is nothing more than a front group for Big Pharma, the makers of those expensive psychoactive pills with harrowing side-effects half the population seems to be addicted to. But half is not good enough, and they will not get a crack at the other half until that uncooperative element stops self-medicating with the booze. It’s no coincidence that The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the biggest bankroller of neo-prohibitionist groups, was created by (and named for) one of the high priests of Big Pharma.

Another unintended consequence of lowering the standards is this: when someone who is plainly not an alcoholic becomes defined as an alcoholic, it forces the victim industry to come up with new terminology to describe those of us who “binge” so often that “binge” stops being the right word. If you’re going to start calling house cats tigers, then you’re going to be forced to start calling tigers something like Super Tigerasaurus Rex. In our case, they’ll have to start calling we drunks  supremaholics or  totallyinsaneaholics. Or perhaps an old word will be dug up and put back to use. Like drunkard.

So if you suddenly find yourself standing within the velvet ropes of alcoholism, let me be the first to welcome you to the party. It’s a helluva club, I think you’re going to dig it. You should also be aware we have this long-standing tradition about the new guy buying the drinks.

—Frank Kelly Rich

Offline nacho

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #125 on: April 28, 2014, 07:31:45 PM »
This is big...

http://www.bethesdanow.com/2014/04/28/is-the-end-near-for-county-controlled-alcohol-distribution/

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The debate over Montgomery County’s control of alcohol distribution was reignited on Friday with this Washington Post opinion piece from a member of the county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force and a prominent Silver Spring restaurant owner.

Evan Glass, who served on the Task Force and who is running for County Council in District 5, and restaurant owner Jackie Greenbaum wrote that it’s time to end the Department of Liquor Control’s monopoly on alcohol distribution.
Glass and Greenbaum argued the county’s control model — which dates back to the Great Depression — restricts the variety of wine, beer and liquor county restaurants can acquire. The two argued that this “outdated approach cries for reform,” as it has led to prospective restaurants and other businesses opening up shop elsewhere:
The county could still maintain its stores and liquor distribution for those restaurants and individuals who prefer the status quo, but others who want better inventory management and options would be free to purchase outside the county system. By taking this step, the county can lift a burden from many small businesses and encourage economic growth while increasing consumer options.

Like the rest of the country, the Washington region has experienced a surge of interest in craft beer, small-batch liquor and family-run wineries. But Montgomery County’s top-down system stymies residents and restaurateurs who want to try new products. We know a number of restaurateurs who have chosen to set up shop in other jurisdictions as a result. On the supply side, some producers and importers — especially the small, cutting-edge, boutique or craft makers — don’t sell to the Department of Liquor Control because of its cumbersome procedures and the diminished market for their products in the county.
Kathie Durbin, chief of Licensure, Regulation and Education for the Department of Liquor Control, has a different opinion. Small breweries and wineries in the county can now sell to other restaurants in the county, thanks to state legislation Durbin helped craft.

She said the Department has also worked hard to improve its distribution service and expand the selection of alcohol brands it offers.
“I understand where [Glass] is coming from and what he’s saying. I think a lot of this comes from the fact that people can’t get certain products that they can get in D.C. I don’t think we’d be able to get them even if the Department of Liquor Control didn’t exist,” Durbin said. “There is a state regulation side to this that a lot of people don’t understand. Also, there are some products — small wineries and small batch products — that just aren’t available everywhere.
“The problem is, I think a lot of times we’re comparing ourselves to D.C. I don’t think there’s any market like the Washington D.C. market,” Durbin said. “You don’t want to deregulate so much that there are safety concerns.”
The DLC is projected to make $20.7 million for the county’s budget this fiscal year. That profit has been a major reason why the control model has stuck around.
County Executive Isiah Leggett confirmed as much on Monday, when in an online chat he answered a question about the county’s strict control model of distribution:
This is a unique time in our history to go back and reevaluate the County’s position on liquor control and alcohol distribution. In past studies, the loss of revenue proved to be a difficult hurdle. If there is a model that can feasibly overcome the revenue loss, I am fully willing to consider it. We are looking at commissioning a new study that will address this issue.

Glass and Greenbaum, who owns Jackie’s and Quarry House in Silver Spring, said the millions the county makes in distribution doesn’t take into account “the economic energy that would be freed by easing control, which would attract new business and expand the county’s tax base, and a fee structure could be imposed to recoup some of the lost revenue.”
Durbin said as a Silver Spring resident and former bartender in Bethesda, she understands what restaurants face. The DLC has been behind a number of alcohol law changes for Montgomery County that because of state law, must be passed in Annapolis.
This year’s General Assembly passed measures to allow microbreweries in Montgomery County and allow those microbreweries to sell directly to other restaurants in the county. The county has licensed two such new facilities so far — Baying Hound Aleworks in Rockville and Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring.
The law would also allow existing restaurants that brew their own beer — such as Rock Bottom in Bethesda — to sell their products with growlers or even six-packs.
Durbin said it’s unclear if there’s a market for such products.
She also said DLC is unveiling an improved online ordering system that will make it easier for restaurants and alcohol sellers to see what the county has available in its warehouse. DLC this year lowered the cost of special orders.
“With any type of alcohol laws that are state laws, it’s difficult to keep up with the trends that are constantly moving,” Durbin said.

Offline nacho

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #126 on: May 23, 2014, 01:33:34 PM »
Ah...the People's Republic of Montgomery County. A dry county, with absurd liquor regulations. Everyone must buy from the county liquor board -- citizens, companies, restaurants...

A short while ago, Drybar, a Bethesda hot spot that charges foul neo-yuppie scum $20 for a blow dry, successfully lobbied for the right to serve beer and wine. This, of course, had been verboten on every level in MoCo... Drybar's success was shocking...and it was the first brick knocked out of the pseudo-prohibition wall.

Since winning their case, Drybar has actively been endorsing candidates who are opposed to the county liquor laws and, one by one, those who are not against the laws have been falling into line.

Most experts agree that the Department of Liquor Control's days are numbered...

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #127 on: May 23, 2014, 01:45:22 PM »

Most experts agree that the Department of Liquor Control's days are numbered...

Because it's not 1922 anymore.

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #128 on: May 23, 2014, 02:32:11 PM »
An interesting flipside to the argument against the DLC is what will the county do with the sudden revenue loss? Annual sales to the licenses (the restaurants) alone equal a quarter billion. That's not including sales to individuals.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #129 on: May 23, 2014, 04:21:15 PM »
Oh please. They'll just recoup that in liquor licenses.

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #130 on: May 23, 2014, 04:26:44 PM »
And, no doubt, a huge sin tax.

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #131 on: May 28, 2014, 01:02:38 PM »
Esquire's Best Bars in America is a little saccharine... They have trouble getting off the Left Coast, and their taste of NOLA doesn't extend past the Quarter... But at least we get one hit for DC!

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/best-bars-in-america-2014#slide-1

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #132 on: June 19, 2014, 11:48:52 AM »
The battle for booze in the People's Republic of Montgomery County gets another win:

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Those who failed to closely read the listing for Republic’s First Annual 4th of July Freedom Fest in Takoma Park may have missed a particularly interesting tidbit beyond the fun sounding event. The press release notes that the barbecue/beer/freedom festival will celebrate the “passage of [a] new law enabling microbreweries to self-distribute in Montgomery County.” Montgomery County is notable not just in the area but nationwide for its stringent alcohol distribution laws, but a new state law that goes into effect July 1 should go a long way toward making some craft breweries’ (and also some wineries’) lives easier.

Maryland House Bill 132 was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley on May 15. Far from a maze of legalese, the three page piece of legislation is more or less to the point. Starting July 1, holders of certain licenses and permits (both in- and out-of-state) will be legally allowed to “sell or deliver its own beer to a county liquor dispensary, a restaurant, or any other retail dealer in Montgomery County,” and conversely, these entities will be legally allowed to buy that beer. This is what is known as “self-distribution,” where a brewer skips the middle man and sells directly to retailers. This scenario is not unheard of; DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) allows breweries within the District’s borders to self-distribute, and brewers like 3 Stars Brewing Company and Right Proper Brewing Company both do so.

To put into perspective why this a big deal, here is a short crash course on how alcohol distribution works in Montgomery County. Recall that the three tier system has producers (read: breweries), distributors, and retailers. Breweries sell their beers to distributors. Distributors then turn around and sell these beers to bars, restaurants, and bottle shops/liquor stores, who then sell to consumers.

Montgomery County is what is known as a “full control jurisdiction,” and, “is the only jurisdiction in the United States that controls the distribution of the big three—beer, wine, and liquor—and it’s been handling this puritanical duty since late 1933, when the county decided the best way to limit the supply of fire water to its residents was to put the government in charge” (to read more, check out Tim Carman’s great 2007 article). In Montgomery County, the distribution tier is not quite the same as elsewhere. Instead of distributors selling directly to retail establishments, they prepare a brewer’s portfolio for sale to Montgomery County’s Department of Liquor Control (DLC) and coordinate the logistics of getting beer to the DLC. The DLC operates a countywide warehouse from which bars and restaurants place orders. The county then delivers the product to the retail establishments.

The complete set of merits and demerits of the “full control jurisdiction” is a topic for another post, but trust that complaints are common from brewers, distributors, and retailers (again, Tim Carman’s 2007 post has more). Here are just a few of the reasons for this: beer deliveries from the DLC are less frequent; the DLC’s mark-up for handling the product (in addition to the state’s excise tax on alcohol) makes products more expensive; and special order beers that are not regularly stocked by the DLC both take longer to process through the system and can get lost between the two different distributors’ warehouses they need to go through. This last is a serious problem because the DLC warehouse essentially becomes a fourth tier in the system. This additional step opens up more opportunities for unfortunate things to happen to beer, e.g., fresh IPAs going stale, which is especially possible since, according to Robison, the DLC does not store beer in refrigerators.  (To read the county’s defense of being a “control jurisdiction” you can read this, um, somewhat biased FAQ.)

Tim Liu, beer director for Scion Restaurant’s two locations (Dupont Circle and Silver Spring) and Crios Modern Mexican (Dupont Circle) has experienced life under both distribution schemes and the problems described above. “The biggest difference for me was the delivery schedule. In DC, you place an order and receive the product the following day. Compare that to [Montgomery County], where it can take 1-3 weeks for delivery. Only the largest, high volume brands are available for same week delivery.” On product selection, he adds, “When it comes to availability, Montgomery County has most of the same major breweries. The difference is in the specialty beers, most of which never see Montgomery County,” but if they do they “are significantly more expensive.”

The new law coming online allows for some breweries to bypass the DLC warehouse process and self-distribute to the bars, restaurants, and liquor stores that will ultimately sell beer to consumers. Self-distribution in this case will help to correct each of the grievances above. For example, if a brewery wanted to make sure that certain rarities were only received by certain venues (because the brewer and the beer director have a good working relationship, for example), a brewery could now self-distribute these beers directly into the hands of specific retailers. Further, because of an approximate two week lag between a beer's arrival at the DLC and its delivery to a venue, needed kegs could get to a retailer much quicker if need be (say for an event). An even bigger advantage is that by avoiding the DLC mark-up, these self-distributed kegs could (keyword: could) also be offered at a substantial discount to the retailer. Of course, whether that discount would be passed on to consumers remains to be seen. Worth noting is that the change is not “all-or-nothing;” brewers can self-distribute the beers they choose to when they choose to and distribute the rest of their product via the normal tiered system.

The keyword in the paragraph above is "some," as the new law only applies to breweries with a certain class of license or permit (specifically Class 7 microbrewery or wholesaler’s licenses in-state and nonresident brewery permit owners out-of-state). In Maryland, Class 7 microbreweries are those that produce 22,500 BBLs of beer or less annually (for reference, DCBrau's 2013 barrelage was over 12,000 and Port City's was 9,000). Class 7 breweries are permitted to self-distribute up to 3,000 BBLs of beer per year in Maryland. Some of the larger craft breweries in Maryland (e.g., Flying Dog, Heavy Seas) are Class 5 licensees and are not permitted to self-distribute under the new law.

Still, for those breweries eligible to take advantage of the law change, this is good news. “I think it is a boon to both small brewers and MoCo consumers,” says Volker Stewart, co-owner of The Brewer’s Art in Baltimore, “It is a huge step in loosening MoCo, which had one of the more challenging sets of rules for small brewers.”

Bill Butcher, founder of Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company, which is eligible to self-distribute under H.B. 132, echoed these sentiments. “We see this as a positive development. This will make it easier for our customers, the bars, restaurants and retail stores that carry our beer, to get our products in stock and available for sale,” says Butcher. “It won’t replace the county’s distribution system, but it will reduce the friction that we see between our accounts and the DLC. We are not a large producer, and our small quantity items can get lost in the system. This will allow us to get our beers to our customers more quickly and efficiently.”

Republic’s Brett Robison says that brewers are “the big winners” while “prudent retailers” have gained a “significant victory” and “consumers” a “mild” one “with some unintended consequences.” He foresees “an inevitable surge in the local craft beer scene and a progressive disengagement in regional craft and big beer” by the public because of having access to “more options at a lower price and fresher beer.” His fellow beer director, Tim Liu, adds, “If what I've heard is correct, I think it is a huge advantage for young, local breweries. One of the obstacles for a young brewery is choosing the right distributor for their brand. I think it gives the brewery much more control, without forcing them to commit to a specific distributor.”

The impetus for this bill came from the coming-this-summer Denizens Brewing Company in Silver Spring. Brett Robison tells DCBeer, “Emily Bruno and Jeffrey Ramirez did a bunch of research and case compiling which Julie Verratti then presented to MD ABC / Montgomery County DLC.” Bruno, Jeffrey, and Verratti are all owners of Denizens. “Julie went before several different rounds of politicos and put the state of affairs into a frightening matter of fact sense for legislators,” continues Robison. Verratti says that when she and her partners were looking for a place to start a brewpub, recent legislative wins attracted them to Montgomery County: “We chose Montgomery County because the state had just recently (as of July 1, 2013) passed laws allowing class 5 breweries to sell pints without food in MoCo and allowed for self distribution in almost all counties in the state other than MoCo,” she explains. “The county had also recently created a Nighttime Economy Task Force to look at potential law or policy changes to create a better climate for social industries, including alcohol. We took this as a sign that the county was open to new ideas and ripe for change, so we jumped on the opportunity.”

Once MoCo was identified as moving progressively on alcohol regulations (mindbogglingly to anyone who has followed it over the years), the Denizens team met with Montgomery County councilman Hans Riemer. From there they testified in front of the aforementioned Nighttime Economy Task Force and submitted legislation to Maryland’s Montgomery County delegation in Annapolis. Their argument was one that emphasized the economic and jobs boost that more lenient regulations would have, and even the county DLC bought into the idea. “We worked directly with Kathie Durbin at the DLC and Delegate Sam Arora to craft the legislative language. This led to county and state officials from every level and office not only supporting, but directly advocating for allowing breweries to self-distribute,” says Verratti. Was changing the regulations in one of the staunchest and most stringent counties in America difficult? Surprisingly not, Verratti tells us: “From an economic development and job creation perspective changing this law was a no brainer.” (For those readers voting on the basis of beer support, other legislators who were helpful, according to Verratti were Delegate Tom Hucker, currently running for council in MoCo, and state senator Jamie Raskin.)

Now that they can self-distribute, we should expect to see craft breweries with the appropriate licenses going bar-to-bar like IPA milkmen (and milkwomen) daily selling $1 DIPAs, right? Not so fast. Remember that there would be a lot of overhead and infrastructure required to cut both traditional distributors and the DLC entirely out of the process. Taking, filling, delivering, and accounting for orders are just some of the tasks that a brewery would be required to take on themselves through self-distribution. This means that in most cases more personnel would need to be hired and fuel and vehicle costs incurred, among others. Multiple breweries we spoke with said they just didn’t have the infrastructure to make that work and would continue, for the most part, to use the extant process.

Port City’s Bill Butcher notes, “I can only speak for ourselves, but obviously if we start our own limited self-distribution, this puts us in the role of a wholesaler. This role carries its own overhead and business challenges. It will not affect our prices. We see it as a convenient option for our customers to get our products more efficiently.”

The Brewer’s Art’s Volker Stewart says of the price question, “Without having a concrete plan just yet, I can say without hesitation that kegs coming directly from us will be substantially cheaper for the retailer than they were paying the DLC.” Don’t expect this to completely reform the cost structure of beers in MoCo, however. Cheaper prices on whichever kegs (and it sounds like it will be a very small percentage of the overall volume in the county) are self-distributed won’t turn the tide completely. Even Robison, who is optimistic about the legislation, writes that, “Kegs will be cheaper and order will be significantly easier (assuming many breweries adopt self-distribution.)”

From the retailer’s side, Scion’s Tim Liu says, “I don't see any reason for breweries to charge less than [they] do in other markets. But if they did, we would probably pass along those savings. Our pricing is strictly based on the cost of goods, not the scarcity, demand, or any other factors.”

And what of the benefits for the firebrands behind this legislative change? Why rock the boat when you haven’t sold your first pint yet? Julie Verratti from Denizens points out that

Being able to self-distribute will allow us to get our product in the door at many more bars and restaurants than prior to the law change. As other breweries know, this is so important when you are just starting out. If we had to sell our beer to the DLC ahead of time we wouldn't have as much control over quality, quantity, or even timeliness in delivery. When you add all of those factors up it is nearly impossible for a start-up brewery to sell in the system. We want our beer to be accessible to anyone and having more channels to sell it only makes that easier.This change has solidified for us that we made the right choice when we chose Montgomery County, MD over DC.

Even brewers who are not affected by this change see it as a benefit. “We view wins for any individual or type of brewery as a win for the overall industry,” says Flying Dog’s Chief Marketing Officer Ben Savage. “While we're all growing strong, craft is still a marginal percentage of the overall beer market, so what is good for a small segment of craft is most often good for all craft breweries… We support most initiatives that further the availability and exposure of craft beer in the State of Maryland.” Aside from the sentiment of camaraderie, Savage also points out that Flying Dog isn’t a good candidate for self-distribution anyway: “...at our size, self-distribution (and all of the logistics that come with it) is not an option for us nor something we plan on pursuing.”

From a craft beer angle, the consensus from the craft beer community is that the passage of H.B. 132 is both an unexpected and positive development. With a new brewpub coming in, political representatives who seem responsive to the realities in the market and eager to attract more of the buzz of the craft beer segment, retailers who want their beer menus to someday rival those we enjoy in the District, and consumers seeking out ever more delicious suds, the Montgomery County craft beer market, long thought to be stodgy and pseudo-prohibitionist, all of a sudden looks adaptable and progressive (at least compared to its former self). As Julie Verratti concludes, “We only see good things on the horizon for the DMV beer scene coming out of this new legislation.” Surprisingly, we agree.

The author is grateful to Chris Van Orden, Jacob Berg, Brett Robison, and John Fleury for their assistance in the writing of this article.

- See more at: http://www.dcbeer.com/news/new-law-signals-big-beer-changes-montgomery-county#sthash.kYfA9mqA.dpuf

Offline nacho

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #133 on: July 01, 2014, 03:55:58 PM »
Today's the day the Drybar Bill kicked in! There are many other changes, as well. Slow progress...


Quote
The so-called “Drybar Bill” went into effect Tuesday, which the Bethesda Row location of the hair salon chain celebrated with a proclamation from Gov. Martin O’Malley.

O’Malley proclaimed July 1 “Buttercup Day,” in reference to Drybar’s yellow blow dryer mascot.
The business opened in October 2012 at 4840 Bethesda Ave., where regional manager Courtney Barfield realized employees weren’t allowed to serve customers complimentary glasses of champagne — a Drybar staple.
“We just weren’t willing to accept that,” Barfield said. “There was no license available whatsoever.”
Barfield and Drybar worked with District 16 Del. Ariana Kelly to push legislation in this year’s General Assembly to allow for Montgomery County hair salons to provide complimentary wine, beer and champagne. It was one of many changes to loosen alcohol regulations in Montgomery County.
O’Malley signed the bills on May 5 in Annapolis.
“It’s part of our overall experience. Women want to come here, they want to relax and they want to be pampered,” Barfield said.
Tuesday marks the first day hair salons can apply for the special license, so Drybar won’t actually be able to serve bubbly for about 30 days.
Other alcohol bills for Montgomery County that take effect Tuesday concern many of the issues discussed by the county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force. Starting Tuesday, the required alcohol-to-food gross sales ratio for county restaurants is 60-40, more lenient than the 50-50 requirement before.
Restaurants will be required to sell 40 percent food at a minimum only until 9 p.m. County delegates led a charge to allow an extra hour of alcohol service, so last call will be 2 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekends and the nights before certain federal holidays.
One law will allow microbreweries to distribute their own beer — meaning those entities don’t have to distribute through the county’s Department of Liquor Control.
Another microbrewery law removes the restriction that requires microbreweries to be fully licensed restaurants before being able to sell beer.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Newsday: Booze
« Reply #134 on: December 23, 2014, 05:41:45 PM »
This is priceless. Posting the whole thing got weird, so click through to read the actual missive.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2878870/Pub-landlord-posts-hilarious-list-rules-year-Christmas-drinkers-abide-bar.html

Quote
Don't order cranberry juice and hot girls get served first: Pub landlord posts hilarious list of rules for once-a-year Christmas drinkers to abide by in his bar
-Pubs braced for huge spike in trade as people head to bars for Christmas
-But landlord has pointed out that the boom in business is not trouble-free
-He endorses set of rules which call on festive drinkers to respect regulars
-They demand newcomers order in rounds and don't 'cajole' bar staff